New Survey Reveals Two-Thirds (66%) of Canadians Don’t Know the End-of-Life Wishes Of Their Spouse

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Survey from online will platform Willful shows a substantial gap in information sharing between family members when it comes to the taboo topic of estate planning

Canada’s leading digital estate planning company, Willful, today announces the results of their survey that reveals Canadian families do not have sufficient information about end-of-life wishes from loved ones.

Canada is currently undergoing an unprecedented intergenerational wealth transfer that will see approximately $1 trillion change hands from the Boomer to the Millennial generation between 2019 and 2026. This wealth transfer is happening during a time where 57% of Canadians don’t know the end of life wishes for any of their loved ones, and 66% of Canadians don’t know the end of life wishes for their spouse.

“Conversations about end-of-life wishes and will creation are considered to be taboo, even among families, and it’s a big cultural problem,” said Erin Bury, CEO, Willful. “A survey we commissioned this summer found that COVID-19 has caused 59% of Canadians to think more about emergency preparedness, and end-of-life planning is a key part of that planning process. We will all face the loss of a loved one at some point, yet we aren't having the conversations that make those losses easier on families.”

Other highlights from the survey include:

  • 42% of Canadians have seen problems, disputes, or disagreements in their family after the passing of a loved one
  • 1 in 10 Canadians have been involved in a dispute with their family after a loved one passed
  • Only 5% of adult children have knowledge about their family’s end-of-life wishes

“I lost a family member suddenly and tragically a few years ago, and they had never discussed funeral wishes, burial planning, and other key end-of-life topics with our family, despite the fact that they had been married for over 30 years,” said Kevin Oulds, co-founder of Willful. “I launched Willful with a mission to destigmatize conversations about death and to help families have the important conversations that I know can relieve stress at an already stressful time.”

Willful is on a mission to help support families to have the difficult, but increasingly more important, conversations around death and estate planning. The company recently launched Conversation Starter Cards to help Canadian families begin to broach these sensitive topics.

To see tips for starting conversations about legacy and end-of-life planning with family, visit or to learn more about Willful, visit

About Angus Reid Forum surveys: The precision of Angus Reid Forum online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 2.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About the Angus Reid Forum: The Angus Reid Forum is Canada’s most well-known and trusted online public opinion community consisting of engaged residents across the country who answer surveys on topical issues that matter to all Canadians.

About Willful

Willful is on a mission 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, 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, and has pricing plans starting at $99. Willful is based in Toronto, and it is currently available to residents of Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Manitoba.

Lauren Arnold | Talk Shop Media | | 647-869-1438

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Erin Bury
+1 (416) 230-9766
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