All About Estates

What would happen if………….

This blog was written by Robert Boyd, Scotia Wealth Management

While researching an estate and trust related blog, I was recently sidetracked by the beginning of my search. As you probably already know, Google prepopulates suggested search items as you type. A further Google search informed me that the prepopulated questions are actually the list of the most popular searches in the previous week.

So what are people thinking when it comes to their wills and estates?

Fortunately, searching “Probate Fee Calculator” brings up some helpful tools. These are likely the first steps an individual takes before speaking to an expert on estate planning

There are a lot of reasons someone would want to avoid writing a will – the cost, procrastination or the fear of death. Not having assets or children could be another excuse, but hopefully the searchers in this example realized that one of the main reasons to have a will is that you are able to choose your executor

A common topic of this blog is protecting vulnerable individuals. Hopefully these searchers were able to find the help that they need. When it comes to elections in Canada, a Power of Attorney cannot vote for a grantor. In cases where Elections Canada arranges for a home visit, only the election officer may help the elector mark their ballot.


The idea for this post all started when I typed the words “what would happen if”. In short, these are the questions at the forefront of Canadians’ minds at the moment. Here are the suggested search items that were prepopulated.

I can safely say that I would not have guessed any of these concerns would be on most people’s minds. No mention of Trump? Or the Pandemic? Not even Trudeau!

After reading the list, another subset of questions came to mind:

  • If everyone was a vegan, would that mean that due to dramatically improved health, the “intergenerational transfer of wealth” would be delayed further?
  • If there was no government, does that mean no probate?
  • If mosquitos went extinct, would that mean that nobody would come back from their cottage, ever?
  • If the world stopped spinning, would time stand still and capital gains  be delayed indefinitely?
  • And finally, what would happen if you fell in lava? I can’t answer but I do acknowledge it’s a burning question.

So many unanswered questions on this Thursday morning but at least we will have the Labour day weekend to ponder further.

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  1. Peter Meitanis

    September 3, 2020 - 1:59 pm

    Great post Robert! Very creative and entertaining

  2. Cathy Williams

    September 3, 2020 - 3:38 pm

    I’m glad to know that mine is not the only brain that works this way!!! Thanks for the amusing post and hope you have a great Labour Day Weekend!

  3. Karen Henderson

    September 3, 2020 - 3:38 pm

    Thank you for your creativity; a good lead in to future searches!

    I agree…no Trump???

  4. Joanne Brigmantas

    September 3, 2020 - 3:52 pm

    I wondered if the results of “what would happen if” might differ depending on the location of the searcher. I got the same results with one interesting addition:

    What would happen if…quebec left canada

    Inquiring minds in Hamilton want to know!

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