Garton & Harris

Many people in Canada admit they don't have wills

An Angus Reid poll this year shows that half of all Canadians don't have a will. People in British Columbia are busy living, and no one wants to think about being incapacitated or about their own deaths. Yet, wills are such an important component of an all-encompassing estate plan in Canada ,and taking the time to write one may save already grieving loved ones even more heartache.

Even many of those Canadians who do have wills confess that they're not up to date. The reasons for either not having a will at all or not keeping a will current is that people are too busy living to think about dying or that they don't have enough assets to make writing a will worthwhile. Canadians who are 55 years of age or older are more inclined to have an up-to-date will, and British Columbia and Quebec -- according to the poll -- are the provinces where a majority of residents do have wills.

Higher income earners -- those in household with incomes of $100,000 or more -- are more apt to have wills and more men than women have made wills. The poll indicated that men are twice as likely as women to admit they don't have a will because they don't want to think about dying. And maritimers, it seems, are lagging the worst when it comes to taking the time to write wills.

Wills are important to have in place regardless of what a person earns. Every adult in British Columbia would do well to have something in place legally letting loved ones know what they would like to have done with their assets and these don't just include money or policies, but also personal items they wish to leave to particular people. Those writing a will must be of sound mind. One of the ways a lawyer can help is by noting that the client is mentally capable of writing a will.

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