Black Americans are significantly less likely to have Last Wills. This is in comparison to other racial groups.
Historical factors and systemic inequalities have contributed to the underutilization of Last Wills among Black Americans. Deep-rooted mistrust stemming from discriminatory practices, such as property confiscation and unequal wealth distribution, may foster skepticism towards formal estate planning. Additionally, socio-economic disparities, limited access to legal resources, and a lack of intergenerational wealth accumulation may hinder the ability to engage in estate planning, including the creation of Last Wills. Cultural and familial dynamics can also influence the prevalence (or rather the lack of) Last Wills. Extended family networks and communal ownership of assets may create an informal system of wealth distribution, leading some individuals to perceive Last Wills as unnecessary.
The underutilization of Last Wills among Black Americans is a result of complex historical, socio-economic, cultural, and educational factors.
The leader behind the estate planning platform, My Legacy Items, offers reasons as to why Black Americans don’t prepare by creating their own Wills. These reasons include: a) a lack of education on the topic, b) the perception of a lack of belongings that can be personally passed between family members.
We’ve always emphasized the importance of having a Last Will and Testament. You can read about the reasons here.