A majority of affluent millennials (77%) believe it’s important to leave a legacy, a sentiment not as widely shared by wealthy boomers (33%) and members of Gen X (42%), according to survey results published Tuesday by Toronto-Dominion Bank.
Dubbed “millenni-factors,” or millennial benefactors, wealthy millennials feel they have a duty to leave a legacy (63%), the bank reports.
“We are definitely seeing significant changes in attitudes towards leaving a legacy. High-net-worth millennials stand out among other demographics for their heightened desire to positively impact the world,” Jo-Anne Ryan, vice president of philanthropic advisory services, TD Wealth, says in a statement. “This trend indicates that the philanthropic giving landscape in Canada will be reshaped in the years to come, as these millenni-factors look for ways to put their assets to work to change the world for the better.”
Though many wealthy millennials want to make the world a better place through charitable giving, including by bequeathing all or part of their estates to charity, half (49%) don’t have a will and less than a third (31%) have a current will.
“It doesn’t matter how good your intentions are, if you don’t have a will, they may never come to fruition,” Ryan says. “For millennials, and indeed all Canadians who have yet to make a will, it’s never too early for estate planning. The same goes for those who have a will that is not up to date. It is always recommended that you review your will at three- to five-year intervals, or whenever a significant life change takes place.”
If you have clients interested in leaving all or part of their estates to a charitable organization, TD recommends discussing the following:
- Creating a will and estate plan to maximize the value of charitable donations.
- Thinking long-term about the causes that will have the biggest impact and stay relevant into the future.
- Having discussions with heirs, or anyone assuming they could be receiving an inheritance, to set expectations in case the majority of the estate goes to charity. Transparency in advance of a death is important to avoiding conflict after the fact, and will give clients time to explain why they’ve chosen to donate to the specific causes that are meaningful to them.
- For entrepreneurs, formalizing succession planning, as their businesses may also be part of their legacies.
TD commissioned Environics Research Group to conduct a custom survey of 6,021 Canadians aged 18 and older, which included 593 Canadians with $500,000 in investible assets and 310 Canadian business owners with $100,000 in investible assets. Responses were collected between Feb. 20 and March 1, 2018.