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Why People Delay Making a Will and How to Overcome the Obstacles

Updated: 6 days ago


Illustration showing a house, a calendar, and money

Let's face it—making a will is not the most exciting item on most people's to-do lists. It involves thinking about our mortality, discussing sensitive topics, and navigating a complex legal process. As a result, many people put off creating a will for various reasons. Let's explore the most common reasons people delay making a will and how they can be overcome. 


 

Wills are only for elderly people


The reason: This might be one of the most common reasons people put off making a will: they think the need for a will is a long way down the road. Based on statistics released in 2023, the average life expectancy in British Columbia is 79.5 years for males and 84.7 years for females. Reaching that average age may be many years away.


The solution: Life is unpredictable, and accidents or unexpected illnesses can happen at any age. Wills aren’t just for the elderly or people facing health problems; they're about being prepared. Making a will ensures your wishes are known and followed, no matter how young or healthy you are.


 

Thinking about the future frightens me


The reason: Facing the end of life can be daunting, and it's natural to feel some apprehension about discussing the future's more frightening prospects.


The solution: Avoiding these conversations can lead to confusion and conflict down the road. By creating a will and discussing your end-of-life wishes with your loved ones, you're taking a proactive step to ensure your desires are known and respected. Making a will can provide peace of mind for you and your family, and ultimately strengthen your relationships by fostering open communication and understanding.


 

I don't have much to leave behind


The reason: It's a common misconception that wills are only necessary for the wealthy or those with substantial assets. You might believe that you don't need a will because you don't have significant wealth. But the value of a will extends far beyond finances and goods.


The solution: Forget about money, and forget about "things". One of the most important reasons to make a will is to specify who would be the guardians of your children if you pass while they are minors. That is critical for every parent, regardless of their financial circumstances. Making a will can also set out wishes about funeral services and your remains, such as indicating a preference between burial or cremation.


Even if your belongings may not be financially valuable, you likely have items that are nostalgic and important to your family or friends. Your will can set out how those assets will continue in your family after you’re gone. 


 

The process is complicated


The reason: The process of making a will can seem complicated and overwhelming. Indeed, tackling that process on your own is extremely complex, and could lead to critical errors that cause your will and wishes to not be carried out in the way you intended.


The solution: This is why you're here, isn't it? An experienced lawyer can break down and simplify the process for you. They will explain the relevant laws clearly and concisely. They will listen to you and answer your questions. They will also prompt you to consider important aspects of estate planning that may not have crossed your mind before. Although there are many complex elements to estate planning, with the right lawyer in your corner, you’ll be sure to discover it’s easier than you thought it would be. 


 

I can't afford to make a will


The reason: Some people delay estate planning due to financial restraints, which is a very real concern and completely understandable. And there is no "but" here. Navigating legal processes, even on your own, does present some associated costs. Planning ahead can minimize those costs, and tackling the process of making a will when you can helps ease the burden of other potential future legal costs, too. Estate planning can also save your loved ones money and stress in the long run, but that may not be of immediate concern to you.


The solution: We have found that there are two camps of people with financial concerns when it comes to estate planning:


  1. People who don’t know the cost and assume it’s higher than it is.

  2. People who have had a price conversation with a law firm or notary office and the cost is beyond their budget.


Regardless of which category you identify with, our team at Stonebridge Law firmly believes in the importance of having a comprehensive estate plan, and we're committed to making this service accessible to everyone. That's why we offer fixed-rate pricing and flexible payment plans for all our estate planning services. With transparent pricing upfront, you won't have to worry about unexpected billable hours or hidden costs. You'll know exactly what you'll pay from the start, ensuring peace of mind as you plan for the future.


 

I don’t have the time


The reason: It often feels like there's never enough time to address important tasks like making a will. However, the good news is that creating a will doesn't have to be a lengthy or time-consuming process.


The solution: What if we told you that making a will can take less time than watching a movie? Many of our clients find that they spend less than two hours in our office when working with us to create their wills. We accommodate client communication preferences by having meetings in our office, on Zoom, by phone or by house visit. Our experienced lawyers are here to simplify the process, guiding you through each step efficiently. We understand the value of your time, and we're dedicated to making estate planning as convenient and straightforward as possible. 


 

I don't have a family


The reason: You might be thinking, "I don't have a family to worry about, so why bother with a will?" Like we said above, it's important to understand that a will isn't just about passing on assets to family members. In fact, it might be even more important for you to make a will as a single person. A will allows you to leave your legacy to friends, charities, or organizations that are meaningful to you. Without a will, your assets may end up in the hands of distant relatives or the government instead of going to the causes or individuals you truly care about.


The solution: A will empowers you to make decisions about your belongings and your wishes, regardless of whether you have a traditional family structure. It ensures that your possessions, no matter how big or small, go where you want them to, reflecting your values and the impact you want to leave on the world. So, even if you don't have a conventional family, making a will is still a way to ensure your wishes are honoured.


 

I'm waiting for the right time


The reason: Perhaps you're waiting for a specific life event, like buying a house or retiring. Maybe you’re waiting for a family situation to materialize or change, like having children or grandchildren, or getting married, or for your divorce to go through.


The solution: There are good reasons for anyone to make a will and there is no perfect time. Generally, it's better to start your estate planning journey sooner rather than later. An experienced estate planning lawyer will help you create an estate plan that is relevant to your current circumstances, and also discuss the reasons and events down the road that might lead you to revisiting your plan.


 

I Don't Have a Good Grasp on My Finances


The reason: It's not uncommon for people to feel uncertain about their financial situation. You might be thinking, "I don't have a comprehensive understanding of my finances, so how can I create a will?"


The solution: You don't need to be a financial expert to make a will. Estate planning isn't solely about wealth; it's about ensuring your wishes are followed, whether you have a little or a lot. Our experienced team can help you navigate this process, clarify any financial questions you have, and guide you in making decisions that align with your values and goals. A will can also serve as an excellent starting point for getting a clearer picture of your finances, helping you take control and plan for the future with confidence. Don't let financial uncertainty deter you from creating a will; we're here to assist you every step of the way.


 

So what now?


While it's common to put off making a will for various reasons, it's crucial to recognize its importance. Creating a will ensures your wishes are followed, your loved ones are taken care of, and conflicts are minimized. Consult with an experienced estate planning lawyer who can guide you through the process, answer your questions and help you secure your legacy. 



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