Pandemic Impact on Estate Planning

September 24th, 2021


2 minute read time

Everyone is talking about how the pandemic changed everything, but this is more so in the area of estate planning than probably any other. The Do-It-Yourself (DIY) world of estate planning and settlement exploded, evolving more in eighteen months than the previous eighteen years!

Consider this: at the beginning of the pandemic, one online Wills provider saw their business increase over 600% from the previous month. What happened?

What happened was, Canadians went into lockdown, read the news, and started to think. What they thought was ‘If I get sick, I’m going to the hospital. I’m not going to my lawyer’s office to get a will. And if I’m in hospital, my lawyer is not going to come and see me. I need to get a will, and I need to do it right now.’

Another major change was what has been called ‘The Death Positive Movement’, which simply means people decided it was okay to talk about death and dying. Death has been ‘one of those things we just don’t talk about in this family’ forever. No longer. Canadians are now thinking about, and more importantly, talking about, death, dying, their end of life wishes and their estate plans.

At the same time Canadians were changing, the professionals that help with death and estates were changing. Professionals in the funeral business for example are far less focused on profits and far more concerned with caregiving, ‘deathcare giving’ to be more precise, and providing ‘aftercare services’, and they have become Bereavement Professionals. It’s a remarkable change.

Likewise, the DIY world of estate planning and settlement options has exploded. There are now all sorts of great products and services available for those planning their estates, called ‘testators’, those settling estates, called ‘executors’ (or ‘estate trustees’ in Ontario, or ‘liquidators’ in Quebec) and those inheriting estates, called ‘heirs’. In fact, for simple estates, almost everything anyone might want can now be found online, (and a great place to find them is right here, on the Executor Depot Outlet Mall).

The pandemic has changed everything to do with end-of-life issues and estates, which is an incredible silver lining. Finally, Canadians can talk about these issues, ensure their estates are well prepared, and ensure the legacies of our families.

May 20th, 2024