Face it, we don't know when we'll "shuffle off this mortal coil", and sadly its totally unexpected for some. What happens to your belongings and money? PHOTO; Shutterstock

But what about if you die?

You’d think with so much money, lawyers and advisors available, a mega pop star like Prince would have had a last will and testament in place, but he didn’t.  His sudden death left assets of approximately $300 million in the hands of probate officials.

A new poll shows that a slim majority of Canadians also don’t have a will.

Without a will, bureaucrats and lawyers decide what to do with your assets, Without an up to date will, confusion and arguments can develop amongst beneficiaries.

The Angus Reid Institute  found that 51 per cent of Canadians have no will at all meaning they would have no say at all in what happens to their assets should they die, leaving it up to provincial officials and lawyers.

Also, about one in three Canadians say they do have a will, but it’s not up-to-date.


The reasons are interesting.

One quarter of respondents say they’re too young to worry about it, while almost the same number (23%) say they don’t have enough assets to worry about.

In Canada if you die without a will and testament (intestate), the government of the home province  takes over and decides on the distribution of assets, usually going to the legal spouse and children with the percentage share varying among provinces

source: Angus Reid Institute

The poll shows older people do have a much greater tendency to have a will than younger Canadians with 58 percent of those over age 55 having a will ( 22% not up to date,  20 % no). Of those aged 15-34, some 78 per cent had no last will, with only 18% saying yes and it was up to date, (7% yes, but not up to date)

Also it seems the greater the income, the more chance of having an up to date will, although not a huge difference.

Some 55 per cent of people earning $100,000 or more said they had a last will, but 45 per cent didn’t.  From $50-99,000, the numbers were much closer,  51 % yes, 49% no.   Of those earning below $50,000, some 56% had no will,

It also seems men are more concerned about the future of their assets with  53 per cent of all men saying they had a will, compared to 46 per cent of women.

Some eight per cent of respondents said simply they didn’t have a will because they didn’t want to think about dying.

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