New Angus Reid data shows that half of respondents do not have a last will and testament, including many over 55s
Dying without making clear what you want to happen to your assets can open up a minefield of confusion, concern, and conflict, so why do so many Canadians leave this to chance?
A new survey from Angus Reid Institute has revealed that half of respondents have not made a last will and testament, including 1 in 5 of those aged 55 and older.
Despite best efforts from professionals and campaigns, the share without a will has remained in line with the Institute’s last poll on this topic five years ago.
The research identified two main reasons why Canadians may not make a will.
Firstly, a quarter of younger people (18-34s) believe that they are too young to do so and 4 in 5 under 35s do not have a will. Among the 35–54-year-olds polled, 10% also believe they are too young, as do 1% of over 55s.
Secondly, a lack of assets is cited by 16% (19% among 35-54s) and those with household incomes below $100,000 are twice as likely as higher earners to say they don’t have assets that make a will worthwhile.
As well as the half of people who don’t have a will, 13% say it is out of date, leaving little more than one third who have an up-to-date statement of intentions for their estate, rising to 49% among 35-54s and to 71% among those aged 65+.
For those aged 54 and above, the main reason for not having an up-to-date will is the belief that it is too expensive, even though there are low-cost and even free services available, although some may be DIY options.
Ten percent of over 35s say they don’t have a will simply because dying is not something they want to think about.