If you were to die suddenly, what would happen to your possessions? There are two possible answers to this question. The first is:

"Well, Robert, I was prescient enough to prepare a will so my loved ones won't have to potentially become entangled in an unhappy legal situation."

The second is:

"Well, Robert, I guess my remaining family's just gotta' figure it out themselves because screw them, right?"

Okay, so maybe those aren't the only two answers verbatim, but if you take a precarious step and fall down a manhole tomorrow morning, either your survivors are going to have a head start or they're not.

Ken Gordon of The Columbus Dispatch offers some pretty grim stats that suggest most Americans aren't prepared:

"According to an April 2014 survey by the tax-and-audit company PricewaterhouseCoopers, only 40 percent of full-time working adults in the United States have a will. Even among those 55 to 64, only 51 percent have one."

That's not good. What is good, says Gordon, is that preparing a will isn't difficult:

"A will is simply a legally accepted document that spells out how you want your assets divided upon your death and who will be in charge of dividing them ... The first step, lawyers say, is to make a list of all your assets, such as your house, vehicles, bank accounts, investment and retirement accounts, and life-insurance policies. Next, list any household items or family heirlooms you might want to designate to a surviving relative..."

Take a look at Gordon's full piece to learn all you need about getting started.

Read more at The Columbus Dispatch.

Photo credit: SteveWoods / Shutterstock