Advisor Resources: BMO Wealth Institute

Estate planning in the 21st century: New considerations in a changing society

Senior Couple Lying In Bed Using Digital Devices

While the basics of estate planning have been the same for centuries, the traditional approach needs to be broadened to reflect changing realities. Boomers are embracing new technologies at unprecedented rates and now have access to a world of digital information and online tools. Individuals are also living longer than ever before, so it is possible that boomers may care for both their aging parents and growing children, and seek companionship in the form of pet ownership. These changes may increase the risk of overlooking important aspects during the estate planning process.

To keep up with these new realities, estate planning needs to evolve. Individuals and their advisors should consider broadening discussions to include three emerging estate planning issues:

  1. The accumulation of digital assets: We should start looking beyond tangible, physical assets and make provisions for our intangible assets.
  2. The growing need for elder care: As lifespans lengthen, we should ensure that the loved ones we care for will be comfortable if we’re no longer able to look after them.
  3. The changing status of pets in our lives: As pets are increasingly considered “members of the family,” we should also be considering their needs in the event of our death or incapacity.

In this report, the Institute takes a closer look at these trends1 and suggests ways in which individuals could adapt their estate plans to reflect these new realities.

The findings are reported on a North American basis. To view U.S. specific data, please refer to the At-a-Glance section on page 12, which highlights key findings from American respondents on each of the three trends examined which do not necessarily match the North American findings highlighted in this report.

 

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1 BMO Retirement Institute North American survey, conducted online by Harris Decima from February 24th to 28th, 2012, of 2,009 North Americans (1,006 Canadians and 1,003 Americans) aged 45-plus. The data have been weighted to be representative of the Canadian and American populations by age, gender and region. Where noted, significance is reported at the 95% confidence level. Unless otherwise noted, the statistical information, graphs, and illustrations in this report are based on this BMO Retirement Institute survey.

BMO Global Asset Management does not offer tax advice. Contact your tax advisor.
This information cannot be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. This information is being used to support the promotion or marketing of the planning strategies discussed herein. BMO Financial Group and its affiliates do not provide legal or tax advice to clients. You should review your particular circumstances with your independent legal and tax advisors.
Estate planning requires legal assistance which BMO Financial Group and its affiliates do not provide.
BMO Wealth Institute, a unit of BMO Financial Group, provides this commentary to clients for informational purposes only. The comments included in this document are general in nature and should not be construed as legal, tax or financial advice to any party. Particular investments or financial plans should be evaluated relative to each individual, and professional advice should be obtained with respect to any circumstance.

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