Estate planning knowledge and actions of married couples in Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/4m90f0864

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  • This exploratory study examined the estate planning knowledge and actions of married couples in Oregon. The specific objectives of the study were: (1) to determine couples' estate planning knowledge and their estate planning actions, (2) to determine if a relationship existed between couples' estate planning knowledge and their estate planning actions, (3) to determine if couples' estate planning knowledge and their estate planning actions were influenced by selected demographic and situational variables, and (4) to determine if couples' estate planning knowledge and their estate planning actions were greater for those couples in which both spouses attended an estate planning meeting, than for those couples in which only one spouse, or neither spouse attended an estate planning meeting. The analyses of the data were based on the responses of 158 married couples in which both spouses completed and returned a twenty question, mail survey. This mail survey was used to collect data for the "Estate Planning Survey" project sponsored by the Oregon State University Extension Service in 1983 and 1984. The data were analyzed on a conjoint basis. The statistical analyses used were matched pair t-tests, Pearson's Product-Moment Correlation Coefficient, and One-way Analysis of Variance. Ten null hypotheses with sub-parts were tested at the .05 level of significance. Couples' estate planning knowledge was significantly related to the variables of income, and the number of children under age 18. The variables of age, income, combined estate size, the number of children under age 18, and the number of children over age 18, were significantly related to couples' estate planning actions. Over one-half of the sample was between the ages of 30 and 59, with a reported annual income between $20,000 and $49,999. Over one-third (37.9 percent) of the respondents had a combined husband/wife estate valued between $100,000 and $499,999; one-third (33.8 percent) of the couples were city residents. Two-thirds (65.7 percent) of the married couples indicated that they had no minor children; 40.6 percent reported that they had two or three adult children. Almost 50 percent of the couples indicated that both spouses had attended an estate planning meeting. The couples' mean estate planning knowledge score was 11.01 (55 percent); the couples' mean estate planning action score (the number of possible actions completed) was 3.37 (24 percent). The findings of this exploratory study should benefit family financial management educators, financial institution professionals, attorneys, and family life and other social science researchers by helping them to understand the estate planning needs of married couples, and to assist these professionals in the design, development, and delivery of effective estate planning programs.
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