By: The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys

The odds of incapacity or premature death are likely higher than you realize. Even favorable odds do not guarantee that you will beat the odds.

Did you know that even if you are in your 20s right now, you stand a one in four chance of becoming disabled before you retire? Moreover, if you do become disabled there is a 38 percent chance that your disability will last more than five years.

If you suddenly were to become disabled, would you be prepared?

Next, while there is no way to know when or how you will meet your end, you may be surprised at the odds of some causes of death:

Cause of Death or IncapacityLifetime Odds
Heart Disease1-in-5
Accidental Injury1-in-36
Motor Vehicle Accident1-in-100
Intentional Self-harm (Suicide)1-in-121
Falling Down1-in-246
Assault by Firearm1-in-325

If you died tomorrow, would your affairs be in order or would you leave behind a disorganized, confusing mess for your loved ones to straighten out? If you have yet to take the time to create your estate plan — a plan that should include an incapacity planning component — the answers to most of these questions is a resounding “no.” We can change that answer to “yes.”

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