Michael Jackson had will, most Americans don't - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Michael Jackson had will, most Americans don't

by Bryan Goettel

IOWA CITY (KWWL) - The news of Michael Jackson's death stunned people around the world. A feeling that compares to how a lot of us view our own mortality.

"First and foremost I don't yet have a sense of vulnerability that like I could die any day," Iowa City resident Lindsay Park said.

Park is 51, just a year older than Jackson was when he died. He spends most of his time at his custom framing shop. Having a will has never really even been on the radar.

"In my singular capacity I think it's just always been a really low priority," Park said.

Park is far from being in the minority.

"A lot of people don't have wills," attorney Bruce Haupert said. "About seventy percent of the people in the United States die without a will."

For the majority of Americans, where there's a will, there's a way...out of getting one.

"None of us believe we're gonna die to begin with," Haupert said. "Secondly, procrastination is a big part of everyone's life and not everybody is particularly excited to go to a lawyer."

When it comes down to it, Haupert points to two reasons that compel people to change their minds: having children or falling ill.

Park is single, has no kids and is perfectly healthy.

"Then it's almost more important to have a will because the statute concentrates on the spouse, children, parents," Haupert said.

It's all about controlling where your assets go. With his parents getting older, Park sees a will in the not-to-distant future. He says he'd like to have one by the time he reaches his 60's.

"Pretty much everyone's health starts to give out in that decade so I think that'd be a smart thing to do," Park said.

Yet it remains an option that nearly 3/4 of Americans never take.

Online Reporter: Bryan Goettel

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