SOURCE: LegalZoom

LegalZoom

December 16, 2009 08:04 ET

The Parent Trap: LegalZoom Survey Reveals Many Parents Don't Have a Will

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - December 16, 2009) - Insight Express recently conducted a national survey(1) for LegalZoom.com and found that many parents have not created or updated their will since having children. While most of the total survey respondents (63%) believe you should make or update your will when you have children, the results indicate many parents have not.

In fact, only one in four of the parents surveyed have actually made a Last Will, a percentage that is virtually unchanged from the 2007(2) will survey conducted for LegalZoom.

"It's a shame that millions of children are left unprotected," said Brian Liu, co-founder and chairman of LegalZoom.com. "Without a will, it's up to the court to decide guardianship decisions, which often takes months. And with minor children, the courts can have problems with asset distribution because minors are not competent to handle financial decisions."

Almost half (43%) of all respondents with children say they have not completed or updated their will because they have not yet decided who will have custody of their children in the event both parents (or guardians) die. Respondents also cited lack of time (19%) or price (18%, up from 13% in 2007) as other reasons for not making a will.

"A will is one of the most important legal documents anyone will ever sign," said Liu. "While finding a person you trust enough to care for your children can be a difficult decision, making a will online can be easy and affordable."

Of those respondents who had created a will, 16% chose to leave their children in the care of their parents, while 26% granted guardianship to their sibling and 14% designated a close friend. Nearly all respondents (85%) did not know that if they die without a will, the court is required to make all guardianship decisions and any asset distribution decisions. For more information about affordable ways to make a will or update a will please visit www.LegalZoom.com.

About LegalZoom.com

Launched in 2001 by a founding team that includes famed attorney Robert Shapiro, LegalZoom.com (www.legalzoom.com) has become the nation's leading online legal service. LegalZoom merges innovative technology with personalized service to deliver a simple, cost-effective way to take care of common legal needs. Legal Zoom is not a law firm and can only provide self-help services at your specific direction. LegalZoom service offerings include: Wills, Living Wills, Incorporation, LLC Formation, Living Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Divorce, Small Claims, Trademarks, Patents, Copyrights and more. LegalZoom.com does not provide legal advice or counsel. LegalZoom is not an attorney and can only provide self-help services at your specific direction.

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(1) Insight Express survey of 502 respondents conducted on August 13, 2009.

(2) A survey of 1000 respondents conducted for LegalZoom in 2007.