Looking back on April – we review a month of awareness and advocacy on the topic of Wills and Estates. The Provincially-sanctioned Make a Will Week took place April 9-15 and focused on emphasizing the importance of British Columbians writing a will or updating pre-existing wills, hoping to encourage the public to take action!
The foundation of a strategic Estate Plan includes a Will, Power of Attorney, and Representation Agreement – all which can significantly reduce the emotional stress on your family, but also minimize the financial pressure your loved ones could endure during an already difficult time of loss.
According to a 2014 report by BC Notaries, only 55% of British Columbians have a signed, legally valid, and current will. This stat was supported in the key takeaways of our own annual survey at Bell Alliance in that:
- Majority of people (70%) do not have wills
- The number one reason why people do not have wills is procrastination
- The second highest reason for people not having a will is that they have not put any thought into it
- Only 31.9% of people have a Power of Attorney set up
- Only 17.2% have a Representation of Agreement set up
- People who have acted as an executor previously, would not do it again
These stats are not only alarming but a sign that we have a lot of work to do to continue to emphasize the importance of having these legal documents in place. Having a will in place should not be an afterthought, and we need to advocate for ourselves and our loved ones to ensure that when the unexpected happens, we are prepared.
If you feel like you might have some unanswered questions about Wills and Estate Planning, head over to our Most Frequently Asked Questions blogs. You can find FAQ Part One here, and FAQ Part Two here.
For more information on how you can take the next steps to ensure you are protecting the interests of your family and dependents both short-term and in the future, visit our Estates Planning page.