According to this recently published survey, probate litigators can be assured of much gainful employment for years to come.  Here are a few excerpts from the linked-to press release:

You can’t take it with you, according to the adage, but many Americans seem to be planning to do just that.

That’s because over half (55 percent) of all adult Americans do not have a will, a new survey shows, a percent that has remained virtually unchanged over the past three years.

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Among non-white adults, the lack of wills is even more pronounced. Only one in three African American adults (32 percent) and one in four Hispanic American adults (26 percent) have wills, compared to more than half (52 percent) of white American adults.

The Jolly Testator Who Makes His Own Will

While these statistics may drive estate planners bananas, those of us who make a living litigating estate disputes should be more philosophical, taking comfort in the following words of wisdom penned over 150 years ago by Lord Neaves:

The Jolly Testator Who Makes His Own Will

-Lord Neaves, Judge and Solicitor General – Edinburgh, Scotland

circa 1852

Ye lawyers who live upon litigants’ fees,
And who need a good many to live at your ease,
Grave or gay, wise or witty, whate’er your degree,
Plain stuff or Queen’s Counsel, take counsel of me.
When a festive occasion your spirit unbends,
You should never forget the Profession’s best friends;
So we’ll send round the wine and bright bumper fill,
To the jolly testator who makes his own will.

He premises his wish and his purpose to save
All dispute among friends when he’s laid in the grave;
Then he straightaway proceeds more disputes to create
Than a long summer’s day would give time to relate.
He writes and erases, he blunders and blots,
He produces such puzzles and Gordian knots,
That a lawyer, intending to frame the thing ill,
Couldn’t match the testator who makes his own will.

Testators are good, but a feeling more tender
Springs up when I think of the feminine gender!
The testatrix for me, who, like Telemaque’s mother,
Unweaves at one time what she wove at another;
She bequeaths, she repeats, she recalls a donation,
And ends by revoking her own revocation;
Still scribbling or scratching some new codicil,
Oh! success to the woman who makes her own will.

‘Tisn’t easy to say, ‘mid her varying vapors,
What scraps should be deemed testamentary papers.
‘Tisn’t easy from these her intention to find,
When perhaps she herself never knew her own mind.
Every step that we take, there arises fresh trouble:
Is the legacy lapsed? Is it single or double?
No customer brings so much grist to the mill
As the wealthy old woman who makes her own will.

Source: see herehere and here.