At Concentra Trust it is important for us to have an understanding of what Canadians know and understand about estate and trust services. In 2013 Concentra Trust engaged Insightrix Research Inc. to gather Canadians’ thoughts on estate planning through both focus groups and on-line surveys.
We learned that Canadians know it’s important to have a Will, Power of Attorney, Health Care Directive, etc. And they understand why it’s important. They want to avoid family feuds, be fair to their family and care for loved ones. Parents want to ensure a guardian is named for their children. Others want to be sure that debts are covered. Of course, there’s always personal experience; Canadians that have served as executor or have seen the administration of a family member’s estate understand the challenges and the need to have their estate in order.
But here’s the disconnect. Even though 93 percent of Canadian realize it’s important to have a Will, based on the Canadians we surveyed only 38 percent of them actually have one. Powers of attorney? 86 percent think it’s an important document, but only 26 percent have executed one. 64 percent of people that realize it’s important to name a guardian in their Will, only 33 percent of parents have done so.
Why the big difference? We asked. It turns out that Canadians don’t know where to begin. They feel they lack the knowledge to plan their estate; that it is too complex a process or it will be too expensive. Some feel they don’t have the time to devote to estate planning. And young people? Many of them think it’s important only for the older generations.
How can we help? Concentra Trust has developed the booklet Estate Planning Guide: A Guide for Members to assist credit union members. It is our hope that this booklet will set Canadians on the path to developing an effective estate plan.
Joan McAulay, Senior Personal Trust Specialist, Trust Relationship Management & Sales
Concentra Trust, A wholly-owned subsidiary of Concentra Financial