Vancouver – BC Notaries support the Province of B.C.’s proclamation declaring April 7 – 13, 2019 “Make-a-Will Week” and encourage those who don’t have a current Will to prepare one.
A 2018 survey by Ipsos for the BC Notaries Association found that while 67% of people aged 55 and older have a Will in place, 62% of people aged 35 to 54 and 77% of people aged 18 to 34 do not have a Will regardless of whether they own a home, have dependant children or other important considerations.
“A legal Will ensures that those you love and care about will be provided for, in accordance with your wishes, around the distribution of your estate,” said Daniel Boisvert, a Notary in Delta and President of BC Notaries Association. “A Will takes the guesswork and pressure off of family members or other loved ones and provides you with peace of mind that your estate will transition smoothly, whether it be assets or the custody of a child.”
BC Notaries remind British Columbians of five key reasons people under the age of 55 should have a Will:
- You have children under age 18
- You own a home
- You are separated, divorced or living in a common-law relationship
- You have pets
- You want peace of mind about your family’s future
The 2018 Ipsos survey found that only 34% of parents with children age 18 and under have a Will. If there is no Will in place, or the Will is not properly prepared, custody of any underage children may not be assigned as you intended. Further, if the Public Guardian and Trustee is brought in to administer the estate, the Province may then decide on the future of dependent children and distribution of assets.
“We can’t emphasize enough how important it is for parents to have a Will,” said Kristy Martin, a Notary in Langford. “A legal Will gives clear direction as to the guardianship of the children, rather than this important decision being made by the courts or government. This is particularly important if children are orphaned or if there is a complicated family situation, because it creates certainty for all families.”
Another concern may be the welfare of a pet and ensuring it will be looked after by a friend or family member if you are no longer able to do so.
Overall only 44% of B.C. adults have a Will in place and only 57% of homeowners have a current Will, according to the survey.