Show your loved ones how much you care this holiday season with a will! Yep, you heard that right. It may not be shiny and it may not be sexy, but there’s nothing more impactful than the gift of a will. Here are 5 reasons why:
1. You’ll Inspire The Important Conversations
Discussing end of life plans and wishes is one of the most important conversations we could be having with our loved ones. Yet, many of us actively avoid the discussion or simply just don’t know how to have it. In fact, according to an Angus Reid study we recently commissioned, 2 in 3 Canadians have no clue about their spouse or parents' end-of-life wishes if they were to pass away. By giving the gift of a will, you’ve opened the door to having an open conversation about their end of life plan, taking the burden off family members to guess (and challenge) what their final wishes would be.
Having this conversation is especially important if you expect to be designated an executor or guardian for children by one of your family members or friends. It will provide you with the opportunity to discuss things like where they’ve stored their wills, their expectations for childcare, and the necessary information to properly settle their affairs.
2. You’ll Help Make The Process Less Daunting
No one likes thinking about their own death but unfortunately you can’t make it go away by simply avoiding the subject. When you give the gift a will, you’re helping take that big first step for your loved ones. Helping tackle that first hurdle for them already helps make the process much less daunting. Not only will they feel less alone in the process, but they’ll likely feel more comfortable discussing their plans with you.
Plus, you’ll feel great knowing your gift is empowering your family to feel confident in making their end of life decisions.
3. You’ll Help Your Loved Ones Protect Their Assets and Dependents
No - the government isn’t going to take all their stuff if they don't have a will. But without one, they will be considered to have died ‘intestate’. In this situation their assets will be divided up and distributed to people based on the default formula based on the province in which they live. In addition, if they have any dependent children or pets, the courts will appoint a guardian for them. For many individuals, the default rules for distribution and appointments probably won’t match their wishes.
A common excuse we’ve heard from those who have yet to create their will is “my family will know what to do if I die.” This assumption can cause friction and increase the burden on family members as it results in them having to guess (and challenge) what their final wishes would be. According to a recent Angus Reid study we commissioned, 42% of Canadians who have had a loved one pass away, have seen problems, disputes, or disagreements in their family.
4. You’ll Remind Your Loved Ones To Complete This Important Life Task
Most Canadians recognize that they need a will, but an overwhelming majority admit that procrastination is the main reason they don’t have one yet. In fact, over 57% of Canadians don’t have an up to date will.
As we all know, the longer you procrastinate doing important tasks like estate planning, the heavier the weight becomes on your shoulders. So take care of the heavy lifting and give your loved ones that extra nudge to check “Make A Will’ off their to-do list.
5. You’re Giving The Best Gift Of All - Peace of Mind
In many ways, the gift of a will is the gift that keeps on giving. Helping your loved ones complete their will means they can leave the ‘gift’ of blueprint for your friends and family to follow during what is likely an emotionally difficult time.
Helping your loved ones complete their estate planning documents will ensure their assets are going to the right people, and provide peace of mind that their family and dependents will be taken care of even when they're gone. It’s a gift that is truly priceless.
BONUS: Don’t have a will for yourself already? Make it a family affair and consider purchasing a Bundle for you and your family! With Bundles, you can easily purchase up to 6 wills for yourself, plus your friends and family. The best part? You’ll save 16% off each plan when you purchase as a bundle. Now that’s what we call a gift!