Written By: Kyoung Tae Kim and Richard Stebbins
This study investigated the role of financial education on a basic level of estate planning of U.S. households. Results from the 2018 National Financial Capability Study (NFCS) dataset showed that financial education is positively associated with one’s basic estate planning, proxied by having a will. Multiple exposures to financial education over time had stronger positive associations with having a will. One notable finding was that those receiving financial education offered by an employer only or jointly by an employer and other sources (high school and/or college) were more likely to have a will. In addition, among those who received financial education, the number of hours and the overall quality were positively associated with the likelihood of having a will. Additional analyses from Propensity Score Matching (PSM) and similar regressions across generations reveal that results were robust. Financial education may increase the likelihood of estate planning.