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CBS News poll: Have you made a will? Most Americans haven't.

The coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. doesn't seem to have changed much in terms of how urgently Americans are tending to estate planning. Today just 39% Americans have a will, while 60% do not. These percentages are nearly identical to what has been recorded over the past two years. 


Americans are more concerned with how to distribute their possessions once they die, the older they get. Just 9% of Americans under 35 have a will, and most under the age of 65 don't have one. However, 66% of Americans 65 and older do have a will.


There is also a large disparity when it comes to income: most adults earning under $100,000 a year do not have a will, while most earning over $100,000 a year do.   


This poll was conducted by telephone October 12-17, 2021 among a random sample of 1,010 adults nationwide.  Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Glen Mills, PA.  Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.  

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone. 

 Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus 3.6 percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls. 

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