Province Declares “Make a Will Week” to Remind BC Adults to
Legally Document their Last Wishes
Heightened Interest in End-of-Life Decisions
Triggered by Recent Court Cases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2015
Vancouver, BC – BC Notaries support the Province of B.C.’s proclamation declaring April 6 to 12, 2015 “Make a Will Week” to encourage residents who don’t have a Will to create one to ensure their final wishes are clear and carried out after their death. In many cases, this requires the creation of a new Will and – for others – ensuring an existing Will is up-to-date and reflects current circumstances and instructions.
A survey conducted province-wide just a year ago by Mustel Group for The Society of Notaries Public of BC found that only 55% of British Columbian adults have a current and legal Will. The Mustel Group conducted an omnibus telephone poll in March 2014 among 502 adults in BC. It found that 20% of people in the 18-to-34 age range, 51% between 35 and 54, and 83% of individuals 55+ have a Will in place.
In addition to the provincial “Make a Will Week” proclamation, April 16 is National Advance Care Planning Day, making personal planning even more timely.
“This declaration and survey are particularly relevant now, when recent court decisions related to end-of-life care have triggered questions and inquiries from people across B.C.,” said Akash Sablok, President of BC Notaries and a Notary in East Vancouver. “More and more people are concerned about ensuring their preferences for their healthcare, finances and distribution of assets are effectively captured and recorded so they can be sure their instructions will be followed when they can’t speak for themselves, either because of illness or death.”
BC Notaries have extensive training and specialization in Will preparation to help British Columbians establish well-considered and legally prepared Wills, and in preparing other Advance Care Planning documents to ensure critical care or end-of-life care instructions are legally documented and registered.
“A Will is the best way to ensure that the people, charities or non-profit organizations you care about receive the benefit of your estate, and the right Advance Care Planning documents will ensure your wishes are clear to your family or healthcare providers when you can’t speak for yourself,” said Derek Smoluk, a Notary in Kamloops.