BC Notaries

BC Notaries

December 28, 2010 11:50 ET

Make a New Year's Resolution to Create a Will in 2011

Only Half of BC Residents Have a Will, According to BC Notaries' Poll

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 28, 2010) - A province-wide poll conducted by Mustel Group for The Society of Notaries Public of BC found that only 51% of British Columbians aged 18+ have a current and legal Will.

"As we look to fresh opportunities of 2011, many of us will make New Year's resolutions to lose weight, spend more time with family, or finally take that long-awaited vacation trip—activities intended to benefit our own lives and those we love," says Wayne Braid, Chief Executive Officer of the BC Notaries. "Preparing a Will is another positive and caring commitment."

The Mustel Group omnibus telephone poll1 was conducted in November 2010 with 502 adults in BC. It found that 15% of people in the 18-to-34 age range, 49% between 35 and 54, and 80% of individuals 55+ have a Will in place.

A properly executed Will can create certainty of intentions for the distribution of assets and personal effects, the guardianship of minor children and pets, the responsibility for carrying out your wishes (an executor), and other vital details such as funeral arrangements.

"Dying without a Will can create additional grief for heirs. When a person dies without a Will, any one of the heirs may apply to the court to administer the estate. If the other heirs do not agree with this appointment—or if no one steps up—by law the office of the BC Public Guardian and Trustee must manage the estate and charge a fee for the work. Some people face years of financial expense and time to unravel a loved one's finances. To those left behind to handle the paperwork, a Will is priceless," Braid says.

A good way to start the process is to identify a legal professional in your community—a BC Notary or a lawyer—that you trust and that can assist you to prepare a Will to serve your needs.

"Most people are relieved after they make a Will and are surprised at how easy the process is. Will-planning and the related discussions among loved ones can open important channels of communication, bring people closer, and create more certainty and peace of mind for all," says Braid.

The Society of Notaries Public of BC represents more than 320 highly trained Notary professionals. Most have locally owned and operated offices and all provide personal assistance to clients around the province. Individuals, families, and businesses seek the services of BC Notaries for a wide range of non-contentious legal matters, including residential and commercial real estate transfers, mortgage refinancings, Wills and estate planning, powers of attorney, and other important documents.

The Notary's Tradition of Trust spans 2000 years. Notaries first came to British Columbia over 100 years ago. They continue to serve their valued clients and their communities across the province.

For more information, please visit notaries.bc.ca.

1 Margin of error: ±4.4% at 95% confidence level in the most conservative case; 6 percentage-point spread required between measures.

Editors: Local Notaries are available in most areas of BC to talk about the importance of Wills.

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