Survey: 1 in 5 Parents Don’t Have Key Financial Products for Their Children

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Estate planning platform Willful Partners with Wealthsimple to make it easy for parents to take care of key financial to-dos

”Setting up an RESP is a financial must-do for parents, as is drafting a will. With online services like Wealthsimple and Willful, these tasks can now be checked off your list during nap time.“

Having kids has a huge impact on your finances, and a new study found that 1 in 5 (17%) of Canadian parents haven’t checked off any of the three key financial to-dos - creating a will, getting life insurance, and opening an RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan) - designed to protect and help their children. The survey, conducted by online estate planning company Willful, found that over half (52%) of parents don’t have a will in place, and that number jumps to two-thirds (65%) amongst parents with minor children. Of those surveyed, parents were more likely to have life insurance (66%) vs. a will (48%) or an RESP (27%), and millennial parents were less likely to have a will (77%) and life insurance (62%), but more likely to have an RESP (34%). In order to help parents check off these to-dos, Willful has partnered with innovative financial company Wealthsimple to make it easier to open an RESP and create a will online in less than 20 minutes.

“It’s crucial for parents to have a solid estate plan in place, since if anything were to happen to them, it outlines who would care for their minor children and how they would receive their inheritance. But we know that the last thing new parents are likely thinking about is creating an estate plan or taking care of other financial tasks because time (and sleep) are at a premium,” said Erin Bury, CEO, Willful. “That’s why we’ve partnered with Wealthsimple to make it easier for parents to check these things off their to-do list online, providing peace of mind for Canadian families by empowering them to make better financial decisions without breaking the bank.”

Willful launched in 2017 to help the 16 million Canadians who don’t have up-to-date wills, and it’s the first estate planning platform to partner with Wealthsimple. Willful’s platform helps Canadians easily create a customized legal will online in less than 20 minutes, guiding users through a series of questions about their unique life situation, and allowing them to outline their executor, guardians for minor children or pets, beneficiaries, specific or charitable gifts, and burial and funeral wishes. Becoming a parent is one of the key life events that lead people to create or update their estate plans, since without a plan in place, the courts can assign a guardian, and parents don’t have any control over the age at which children receive any inheritance. Willful allows people to create or update their will for under $249, with free updates at any time so it’s easy for parents to update their will if they have additional children.

Wealthsimple makes financial products and advice accessible and affordable to everyone through technology, and its RESP is the first fully-digital option in Canada — no paperwork or bank branch visits required. Wealthsimple’s RESPs are invested in smart, low-cost, diversified portfolios so parents’ education savings grow over time. Contributions to an RESP receive matching grants from the government, and some families are eligible for additional funds.

“An RESP is one of the best personal finance deals out there — it’s essentially free money from the government for your child’s education,“ said Michael Allen, Portfolio Manager, Wealthsimple. ”Setting one up is a financial must-do for parents, as is drafting a will. With online services like Wealthsimple and Willful, these tasks can now be checked off your list during nap time.“

To learn more about Willful, visit willful.co. To learn more about how to prepare for kids financially, visit Wealthsimple's guide.

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, and Alberta.

About Wealthsimple

Wealthsimple is a financial company on a mission to help everyone achieve financial freedom by providing products and advice that are accessible and affordable. Using smart technology, Wealthsimple takes financial services that are often confusing, opaque and expensive and makes them simple, transparent, and low-cost. Wealthsimple provides services in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada. The company was founded by a team of financial experts and technology entrepreneurs, and is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. To learn more, visit http://www.wealthsimple.com.

Survey Methodology

From June 14 to 17 2019, a survey was commissioned by Willful with a representative sample of 653 online members of the Angus Reid Forum who are parents. The survey was conducted in both English and French.

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Erin Bury, CEO
Willful
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