When confronted with the COVID-19 pandemic and the financial and medical crises that it triggered, many Canadians have taken a hard look at their health and wealth.*
In a joint survey conducted by cemetery, cremation, and funeral provider Arbor Memorial and digital estate planning* company Willful, it was found that 83 per cent of responding Canadians had engaged in at least one vital planning conversation last year on topics including end-of-life planning, eldercare, childcare, financial planning, changes in employment, and relocating.
In 2020, a third of all Canadians (34 per cent) said they had broached subjects surrounding end-of-life planning, such as making or updating their will, deciding on their end-of-life wishes, and estate planning. More than a third (37 per cent) said getting their end-of-life affairs in order — including updating or writing a will, funeral planning, and having tough family discussions around estate planning will be a priority for them in 2021.
Women are slightly more likely to initiate a conversation about end-of-life plans compared to men (36 per cent, compared to 32 per cent of men), and overall, the likelihood increases with age (25 per cent for those aged 18 to 34, 34 per cent for those aged 35 to 54, and 41 per cent for those aged 55 and over), meaning seniors are rightly planning ahead to lessen the burden on their children.
In 2020, one third of all Canadians (34%) said they had broached subjects surrounding end-of-life planning, such as making or updating their will, deciding on their end-of-life wishes, and estate planning*.
More than a third (37%) said getting their end-of-life affairs in order — including updating or writing a will, funeral planning, and having tough family discussions around estate planning — will be a priority for them in 2021.
Making sure your end-of-life wishes are respected
Death isn’t a subject that everyone feels comfortable discussing, so many simply avoid it. While we know it’s an eventuality for all of us, it’s only natural to push the topic out of our minds and focus on living life. But that doesn’t change the fact that all good things must come to an end. And it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t start a conversation with our loved ones about our end-of-life wishes.
Did you know that there are at least 87 decisions, choices, and things to do following the death of a loved one?
However, you can take care of many of these items right now. Knowing what’s involved in advance provides you with the opportunity to make decisions on your own behalf today, saving undue hardship for loved ones tomorrow. By planning ahead, you can choose the options that cater to your liking, culture, and budget. Do you want a religious or a secular ceremony? Should it be casual, formal, or unconventional? Do you prefer burial or cremation? Your individual plan can reflect what matters most to you.
How do I choose what’s best for me?
There are several things to keep in mind when making your end-of-life plans. Your personal views about final wishes may affect your decision. Some cultures respect specific traditions or religious requirements following a death, for example. Should you and your partner have different preferences, there are also options to be together forever, while respecting individual wishes.
Then there are the financial considerations. Arranging in advance saves money and stress for your loved ones, helps ensure your wishes are carried out exactly as you want and provides you with the comfort of knowing that it’s all been taken care of.
Still not sure how to get started? Arbor Memorial’s local funeral and cemetery professionals can provide you with more detailed information about your options.
*Joint Angus Reid Forum survey conducted by Willful and Arbor Memorial Inc. from January 4 – 5, 2021 with a representative sample of 1,503 online Canadians.