Don't be like Prince report urges Canadian investors

Half of Canadians say they don't have a last will and testament

Don't be like Prince report urges Canadian investors
Steve Randall
Nobody wants to think about dying especially in younger years but Canadians are being urged to consider the implications of not having a will.

A lack of effective estate planning was highlighted following the death of pop legend Prince, who died in 2016 without a will. That meant his estimated $300 million fortune was subject to probate.

Although a judge ruled in 2017 that his six children would inherit the estate, there are still challenges to that decision.  

A report published Tuesday by the Angus Institute reveals that half of Canadians have not made a will, which could mean extra pain and uncertainty for heirs.

A further 35% say they have a will, but it’s not up to date.

Wealthy Canadians are more likely to have made a last will and testament than those with more modest incomes; someone with a $100,000 income is three times more likely than someone with a $50,000 income.

Who’s most lacking on estate planning?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, younger Canadians are the largest age group without a will (just 15% of 18-34s), saying that they are too young to think about dying.

However, younger investors can still have considerable assets which should be protected.

Even among older Canadians, only 29% of 35-54s and 59% of over 55s have a will.

Women are more likely than men to not have a will and cite the legal costs of writing one as a barrier.

Among wealthier Canadians ($100k+ income) without a will 10% say they don’t have any assets to worry about, the same percentage don’t have time to get a will written, and 2% don’t want to discuss the details with a stranger.