Half of Canadian adults say they don’t have a last will and testament: Angus Reid Institute

WHEN the world learned that Prince, an artist whose estate was worth an estimated $300 million, died without a will in place, it caught many by surprise.

A slight majority of Canadians share at least one thing in common with the pop legend: a lack of estate-planning.

A new Angus Reid Institute poll finds that half of Canadians (51%) say they have no last will and testament in place, while only one-third (35%) say they have one that is up to date. In other words, half of Canadians are set to have no say in what happens to their assets should they die, and nearly one-in-six have wills, but haven’t kept them up to date.

Why are Canadians putting off estate planning?

A significant number say the reason they haven’t written a will is that they’re “too young” to worry about it (25%), and almost as many say they don’t have enough assets to make a will worthwhile (23%).

 

More Key Findings:

 

* Older Canadians (those ages 55-plus) are nearly four times as likely as the youngest cohort (18-34) and twice as likely as those 35 to 54 years old to say they have an up-to-date will in place (58% compared to 15% and 29%, respectively)
* Quebec and British Columbia are the only provinces in Canada where a majority of people say they have a will in place (58% in Quebec and 54% in British Columbia)
* Women are noticeably less likely than men to say they have a will in place (46% versus 53%) and are nearly twice as likely to point to the legal costs associated with writing one as the main reason why

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