What do Aretha Franklin, Prince, Howard Hughes, Martin Luther King, Picasso and Even Abraham Lincoln Have in Common?

They all died without having a Will. Equally staggering are the results of a 2018 Angus Reid poll that revealed that more than half of Canadians don’t have a Will.

It’s interesting. In my line of work this is a conversation I have all the time and,over the years, I’ve come to realize two things:

First, death is not a subject most people want to contemplate, let alone discuss — even in the abstract — even though Wills and estate plans are all about protecting and taking care of loved ones — which is one of the reasons we save and invest and acquire wealth in the first place. So discomfort aside, it’s an important and necessary conversation to have.

My second observation is, younger people don’t think this conversation applies to them. Their attitude is, I don’t have to think about it now, it’s for later, when I’m old. In fact, everyone over the age of majority should have a Will.

So here’s a few questions for you

Are you one of the 51 per cent of Canadians without a Will? If you do have a Will when was the last time you updated it? If you do have a Will, are you absolutely certain it’s thorough enough? Do you also have a more complete estate plan?

Are you someone who believes, as I do, that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and it’s always worthwhile to make sure you’re on the right track, to make sure you’ve got all the “i’s” dotted and the “t’s” crossed?

Here’s the reason I’m asking.

I recently tried a proprietary software tool that can give you that peace of mind and I’d like to share it with you — with my compliments

The Willing Wisdom Index™ has been created specifically to help us make important estate planning decisions before meeting with a lawyer — which can potentially lower legal fees and provide us with a more complete estate planning document to take to the lawyer.

It literally takes about 10 minutes to complete the questionnaire online. After you’re done a confidential, personalized Estate Planning Checklist will be generated and sent to you in an email. It’s that simple.

And now is also the perfect time to do it if you’ve been thinking of updating your estate plan, don’t have a Will or any of the following have happened since your last updated Will:

  • Birth of a child, grandchild, niece or nephew
  • Death of a close family member
  • Divorce or separation from a spouse
  • Started a business
  • Had a material change in your personal wealth, ie inheritance
  • Major health event
  • Death of yur current Executor or a change of mind about their appropriateness or suitability
  • Death of a named beneficiary or change of mind about their appropriateness

Here’s all you have to do

Let me know you’re interested. Call me at 416-594-5500 or email alan.friedman@cibc.ca. Once I have your permission I will email a link to the Willing Wisdom Index. Once you answer the easy “yes” or “no” questions, a confidential and personalized Willing Wisdom Report will be emailed to you.

In about 10 minutes you’ll know if your Will and estate plan cover everything they should. Because the link I send you includes an activation code, the Report is yours at no cost. If you want to discuss the results, I’m happy to do so. It’s up to you.

I truly hope you do this. I tried it myself and found it enlightening — and it gave me tremendous peace of mind.


Alan Friedman is an Investment Advisor with CIBC Wood Gundy in Toronto. The views of Alan Friedman do not necessarily reflect those of CIBC World Markets Inc. CIBC Wood Gundy is a division of CIBC World Markets Inc. a subsidiary of CIBC and a Member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. If you are currently a CIBC Wood Gundy client, please contact your Investment Advisor.


2 thoughts on “What do Aretha Franklin, Prince, Howard Hughes, Martin Luther King, Picasso and Even Abraham Lincoln Have in Common?

  1. I am in the process of updating my will. My lawyer told me that the applicable laws of Ontario and Canada have been changed over the last five years, so for tax reasons alone the update is worthwhile. It makes no sense to minimize the taxes while working and to stop doing so when preparing or updating my will,


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