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fail to prepare wills

Why Do People Fail to Prepare Wills?


Several reasons can contribute to why people fail to prepare Wills or delay the process. Estate Planning can be emotionally charged and complex, leading to procrastination or avoidance. Some common reasons include:

  1. Procrastination: Writing a Will often involves confronting one’s own mortality, which can be uncomfortable. People may delay the process due to discomfort or denial about the need for a Will.
  2. Complexity: Estate Planning involves legal and financial considerations that some individuals find overwhelming. People might postpone the task if they feel unsure about navigating these complexities.
  3. Lack of Awareness: Some individuals may not fully understand the importance of having a Will or the potential consequences of dying intestate (without a Will).
  4. Conflict Avoidance: Creating a Will may require individuals to make difficult decisions, such as designating beneficiaries, guardians for minor children, and distributing assets. Fear of causing conflicts among family members can lead to avoidance.
  5. Emotional Challenges: Writing a Will can be emotionally taxing, especially when considering end-of-life wishes, decisions about medical treatment, and the division of assets among loved ones.
  6. Perfectionism: Some people might want their Will to be perfect, leading them to endlessly revise and delay completing it.
  7. Cost Concerns: The perceived cost of consulting with a lawyer or using Estate Planning services can deter individuals from starting or completing their Wills.
  8. Life Changes: People’s lives are dynamic. Changes in relationships, family composition, financial status, and health can complicate Estate Planning and cause people to delay.
  9. Superstition: Some individuals associate creating a Will with negative outcomes or bad luck, leading them to avoid the process.
  10. Misconceptions: Some people might believe that their assets are too insignificant to warrant a Will, or they might think that their spouse or family Will automatically inherit everything.
  11. Time Constraints: Busy schedules and other commitments might make it difficult for individuals to find the time to work on their Wills.
  12. Technical Challenges: The process of drafting a Will, especially without professional guidance, might involve understanding legal terms and language, which can be a barrier for some.


To overcome these challenges and ensure the completion of a Will, it’s important to:

  • Educate yourself about the benefits of having a Will.
  • Acknowledge and address your emotional concerns.
  • Break the process into smaller, manageable steps.
  • Seek professional guidance from Estate Planning attorneys or experts.
  • Set clear goals and deadlines for completing your Will.
  • Communicate with loved ones about your wishes and intentions.
  • Update your Will regularly to reflect changes in your life.


Remember that a well-crafted Will is an important part of ensuring your assets are distributed according to your wishes and minimizing potential conflicts among your loved ones.

If you need help to get over the many hurdles we often face in Will preparation connect with us at SmartWills. We can help you manage the process, so it is done in digestible bites!

Justice Ontario Pre-formatted-fillable – Estate Forms

Want more information?

Are you interested in a consultation with Peter R. Welsh?
Contact me at Peter@SmartWills.ca
By telephone 416-526-3121
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This material is for general information and educational purposes only. Information is based on data gathered from what we believe are reliable sources. It is not guaranteed as to accuracy, does not purport to be complete and is not intended to be used as a primary basis for investment decisions.