Survey: Two-Thirds of Nova Scotians Don’t Have an Up-to-Date Will

Celebrities like Prince and Aretha Franklin made headlines for dying without a will, but despite the fact that death is one of the only certainties in life, the majority of Nova Scotia residents haven’t planned for it either. According to a new survey commissioned by online estate planning platform Willful, 60% of adults in Nova Scotia have not created a will, and that number jumps to two-thirds (67%) if you include the people with out-of-date wills. Despite the fact that the majority of Nova Scotians don’t have solid estate plans, they are the most likely to have a will out of all the Atlantic provinces, but they rank lower than the rest of Canada. 43% of Canadians have a will, compared with only 34% of those in the Maritimes, and 93% of millennials in the Maritimes don’t have a will (compared with 87% of millennials across Canada). To help increase those numbers, Willful is launching today in Nova Scotia to give residents an easy way to create a customized legal will online in less than 20 minutes.

“At Willful our mission is to make it easy, affordable, and convenient to create an estate plan online, and we’re excited to bring our platform to Nova Scotia to ensure more Canadians have protected their families,” said Erin Bury, co-founder and CEO, Willful. “Two in five Nova Scotians said they don’t have a will because they’ve procrastinated taking care of it, so we’re hoping our launch encourages more people to check it off their to-do list.”

Willful brings the traditional estate planning process online through an educational, user-friendly platform, removing the main barriers to creating a will: cost and convenience. The platform guides customers through a series of questions about their unique life situation, helping them to outline their executor, guardians for minor children or pets, beneficiaries, specific or charitable gifts, and burial and funeral wishes. Willful then creates customized plans their family can follow, giving them a last will and testament and Power of Attorney documents that each include instructions on making the will legally-binding, which involves printing it and signing it in the presence of two witnesses. Plans range from $99 for an individual will up to $249 for a mirrored will for couples, a fraction of the price of visiting a traditional lawyer.

Willful works with estate lawyers in each of its active provinces to create its legal content, and in Nova Scotia the company partnered with Kaulback May, an established estate law practice based in Truro with experience in wills and estates. Willful launched in Ontario in late 2017, and has since expanded to Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and now Nova Scotia. Since launching, the platform has created thousands of documents for customers.

“Our firm’s goal is to provide modern legal services to Nova Scotians, and we firmly believe that while there will always be a role for lawyers, platforms like Willful can cater to a percentage of the population who have simple estates, and who prefer the convenience of an online platform,” said Jessica May, Partner, Kaulback May. “We’re excited to work with Willful to give Nova Scotians more options to create their wills, since the research shows the majority of us don’t have a solid estate plan in place.”

To learn more about Willful, visit

About Willful

Willful’s mission is to change the way Canadians prepare for and deal with death. Their first product is an online platform that makes it affordable, convenient, and easy for Canadians to create a legal will online. The platform provides simplified estate planning services (creation of a Legal Will, Power of Attorney for Personal Care, and Power of Attorney for property), enabling consumers to create a will and/or power of attorney by following a clear step-by-step process. Willful’s platform was developed in collaboration with leading estate lawyers, with pricing plans starting at $99. Willful is based in Toronto, and it is currently available to residents of Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Nova Scotia.

Survey Methodology

From June 8-June 11 2019, a survey was commissioned by Willful with a representative sample of 845 online members of the Angus Reid Forum located in Atlantic Canada. The survey was conducted in both English and French.

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