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Many B.C. residents don’t have legal wills

Click to play video 'Make a Will Week' Make a Will Week
WATCH: A shocking number of British Columbians do not have a will. April 10 to 16 is ‘Make a Will Week’ in B.C. Justice Minister Suzanne Anton joins the Global Weekend News team to discuss what British Columbians can do – Apr 10, 2016

VANCOUVER – British Columbians are being reminded to plan for their futures — and what happens after they die.

The province has proclaimed April 10 to 16 Make a Will Week in an effort to get more people to make legal wills.

“Everybody should have a will,” said Justice Minister Suzanne Anton. “Even if you don’t think you have very much, it’s better for you to say where you’d like it to go rather than leaving it to others should you meet an untimely death.”

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A survey by the Society of Notaries Public of B.C. recently found that 45 per cent of adults don’t have a current legal will. That number jumped to 80 per cent among people between 18 and 34 years old.

Many people procrastinate planning for what happens after they die, Anton said.

“I think people think it’s something they’ll do in the future and they just don’t get around to it,” she said.

When people die without having a will in place, there can be disputes over money, possessions or children, and Anton said any legal action related to those disputes is charged to the estate.

“You don’t want uncertainty after your death, you don’t want people arguing after your death. You can avoid all of those things,” she said.

There are a number of things people should consider when making a will, Anton said, including who they would like to be the executor, who they would like to take care of any children or pets, and where they would like their money and possessions to go, including any charities or non-profit organizations.

She added that making a will doesn’t have to be complicated, and people can make sure their last wishes are followed by creating a will with a lawyer or notary.

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