What is the likelihood that you will die?

Red dice ready for monopoly game.
Red dice ready for monopoly game.
Red dice ready for monopoly game.

That’s a silly question, of course; we all will, eventually. The only question is who will die at 2, who will die at 50 and who will die at 117. And that is a question that none of us knows the answer to, which is why I always find it so surprising that so many people are resistant to having an estate plan in place.

The likelihood that you will die of an accident vs. cancer vs. a heart attack is something that an actuary or insurance agent would be better at telling you, but the reality is that all of us will die, and many of us will become incapacitated enough to need serious assistance before death. Statistically, you are far more likely to be seriously disabled at a young age than you are to die at a young age, but even fewer people have powers of attorney than have wills.

Here’s a better question: if you die, what will the impact be on your family, financially? If you become permanently disabled, what will the impact be on both your family and yourself? And can you do anything now to minimize those impacts? Asking what the chances are, or even how cheaply you can have a will done – those are the wrong questions.