Make A Will week targets younger generation

If you haven't yet written a will, it's something you might want to consider.

If you haven’t yet written a will, it’s something you might want to consider.

This past week, Monday April 6th to Sunday April 12th, was British Columbia’s first-ever Make A Will Week. The official designation came through the efforts of B.C. Attorney General Suzanne Anton.

“No matter what stage of life you find yourself in – you need a will. A will is one of the most important documents you will create in your lifetime. Make a Will Week encourages everyone to sit down with their loved ones and begin that important discussion today,” said Anton in a press release.

The move to proclaim a Make A Will week was meant specifically to target younger generations and comes after a B.C. wide survey, conducted for the  Society of Notaries Public of B.C., found that 80 per cent of B.C. residents age 18 to 34 do not have a legal will. The poll, which was done by telephone, also found that when looking at all B.C. adults, 45 per cent do not have a will; 49 per cent of those aged 35 to 54 do not have a will; but that the rate of those not having a will drops to 17 per cent when looking at  B.C. adults age 55 or older.

The province’s revised Wills, Estates and Succession Act (WESA) came into effect in March 2014, which lowered the age at which B.C. residents can legally make a will from 19 to 16.

A provincial government press release on the matter pointed out that many people may not realize that somebody who dies without a will, is deemed to have died “’intestate’ (without a will) and his or her estate will be distributed according to the WESA, not necessarily in accordance with her or his wishes.

There are default rules that are applied to divide money between spouses and children for those who die without a will.