BC Notaries worried too many parents don’t have a will

Survey finds 66% of parents of children under 18 are legally vulnerable

A new online survey of 800 B.C. residents found that 66 per cent of respondent parents of children under the age of 18 don’t have a will.

For a family without a will if something happens to one or both parents, custody of the children and property distribution may not occur as the deceased intended. Furthermore, if the Public Guardian and Trustee is brought in to administer the estate, the province may then decide on the future of dependent children and assets.

“The costs of administering your estate may also be higher if a current and legal will does not exist,” said Tarja McLean, a Notary in Kelowna.

“One of the kindest things you can do for your family and loved ones is to have a will in place, so it’s one less thing they need to worry about after you’re gone.”

The survey was carried by Ipsos for BC Notaries during last month in lead to Make A Will Week in B.C., declared for April 8 to 14.

The survey also revealed that overall only 44 per cent of respondents had a will in place and only 57 per cent had a current will.

Related: Columnist Paul Hergott discusses importance of making a will

“We know that too many people pass without a will in place because Notaries help families navigate the bureaucracy and uncertainty created for those left behind,” said Rhoda Witherly, president of B.C. Notaries.

“Even for us, this finding that two-thirds of parents with dependent children don’t have a will is surprisingly high and a concern for those families.”

McLean said for parents to not have a will is often related to facing the reality of their demise at some point and facing difficult questions such as who will look after their children and distribution of their assets.

“It’s one of the hardest things to face up to but once you start talking about it and as you go through the process it gets a little easier to talk about,” McLean said.

She said for parents, they may face issues with their elderly relatives that require legal attention and tend to overlook potential legal concerns regarding their own children.

“The feeling sometimes is your kids are too young or you as parent are too young to worry about it, or you are just starting out in life and don’t have many assets to worry about. But it is never too early to do a will,” McLean said.

“Unfortunately it does happen, a horrific accident takes place and the parents are lost and it’s heartbreaking to see a family left behind without a plan in place for what happens next.”

Jennifer O’Donnell, a Penticton Notary, said a will can typically be done with a Notary in two short meetings.

“During the first meeting, we will discuss a general overview of your assets and your intentions for their distribution. The second meeting finalizes you plan and your paperwork,” O’Donnell said.

“A good way to start the process is to think about who you would want to care for your children, inherit your home and any other assets.”

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@BarryGerding
barry.gerding@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Charges pending after accident cuts power in Lumby

A single vehicle accident cut power to 1,905 Whitevale and Lumby residents Saturday, July 21

UPDATE: Sentencing hearing set for Coldstream standoff defendant

Kelly Blake Torvik will appear in Vernon Law Courts July 24 for sentencing

Motorcyclist taken to hospital following crash near Vernon

Extent of injuries not yet known following motorcycle in ditch on Commonage Road Sunday, July 22

Okanagan Wildfires: An afternoon update on wildfires and evacuations

A Sunday afternoon look at the major wildfires impacting the Okanagan and Similkameen.

All-Indigenous teams break new ground, making BC Games history

This is the first time there have been dedicated Indigenous teams at the BC Summer Games

Vernon poet shines bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Gallery Vertigo July 21

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Mediation talks break off in casino strike

Gateway and BCGEU have no new date set for mediation

Most Read