Many Albertans uncomfortable planning for death: ATB Wealth survey

By ATB Financial 14 May 2019 3 min read

Edmonton— Knowing when and how to talk to your family about your death is a struggle for some people. The latest research from ATB Wealth found one-in-five Albertans surveyed are uncomfortable planning for or talking to their family about their death.

“Wills, estates, and beneficiaries are all subjects people steer away from discussing, even with their own families,” said Chris Turchansky, President of ATB Wealth. “And that’s not a surprise, since it means having to face the uncomfortable topic of death.”

ATB Wealth’s research on end-of-life planning also found Albertans are divided about whether their family talks openly about money — 35 per cent surveyed said their family talks openly about the topic while 39 per cent felt the opposite. Of those Albertans surveyed whose parents are still alive, 52 per cent believe their parents have a current will but one-third of those have never talked about it with their parents.

“Having a will is about so much more than money,” said Turchansky. “It’s about peace of mind and ensuring your funeral wishes are understood and that your family is clear on your financial plan so they aren’t left to guess. Asking a family member for advice might be the first place people turn, but it’s important to include a professional to understand exactly what should be covered in a legal will.”

The evidence supports this. Two-thirds of Albertans surveyed — 63 per cent — say they created a will for peace of mind. Those respondents who have a will also say they are more at ease planning for their death than those without a will (67 per cent vs. 46 per cent). Those without a will are twice as likely to turn to their family for guidance on their will (44 per cent vs. 22 per cent with a will).

Other highlights of this quarter's ATB Wealth survey include:

  • Three-in-ten Albertans surveyed feel that, on average, the right age to draw up a personal will is 42 years old.

  • Seven-in-ten Albertans with children surveyed who have a will have talked to their kids about a will, but a much smaller proportion have discussed the document’s financial impact. Even fewer have introduced their children, who are over 18, to their financial advisor.

  • Six-in-ten Albertans surveyed say they did or would turn to a lawyer for advice when creating a will.

  • One-in-five Albertans surveyed without a will say they would turn to a financial advisor for guidance.

ATB Wealth’s survey was conducted by Ipsos from February 14 to March 1, 2019 and involved 1,000 participants. Results are considered accurate to within plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

For the complete ATB Wealth survey results, click here.

For more information or interview requests, please contact:

Chinta Puxley
Media Specialist,
ATB Financial

About ATB Financial

With $54.9 billion in assets, ATB Financial is an Alberta-built financial institution. But don't let that fool you—we're so much more than a bank. We got started in 1938 to help Albertans through tough economic times, and today we have 176 branches, 143 agencies, a Client Care Centre, four entrepreneur centres, and mobile and online banking. And did you know we're fast becoming the digital bank and the bank for entrepreneurs? We're already the place to work for our more than 5,500 team members who love to serve 760,000-plus customers in 247 Alberta communities. To find out more, visit us at

About ATB Wealth

ATB Wealth is the wealth management arm of ATB Financial. Our goal is to sort through the clutter and make investing easier to understand so our clients can focus on the things that really matter in life.‚Äč

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