Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 243–264 | Cite as

Characteristics of Older Adults with Written Wills

  • Marsha A. Goetting
  • Peter Martin


Using data from the Study of Aging and Health Dynamics of the Oldest Old (AHEAD), an empirical model was tested to examine and explain the presence of a will among older adults. This study investigated the influence of the following multiple factors on the presence of a written will: demographic characteristics, socioeconomic status, physical health problems, negative psychological functioning, sense of control, and financial assessments. Two-thirds of the sample (N = 521) indicated they had a written will. Logistic regression analysis of the empirical model revealed there were four significant predictors of an older adult having a will: race, education, net worth, and the respondent's assessment regarding the chances of leaving a financial bequest.

bequests estate planning inheritances older adults wills 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marsha A. Goetting
    • 1
  • Peter Martin
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Economics and EconomicsMontana State UniversityBozeman
  2. 2.Iowa State UniversityAmes
  3. 3.German Center for Research on AgingUniversity of HeidelbergGermany

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