Estate planning requires attention to more than just children’s inheritances these days, according to a report released Monday by the BMO Retirement Institute, an organization based in Canada. Aging parents, pets and digital assets are new concerns for modern estate planners. The Institute surveyed people in the United States and Canada for the report.
Traditionally, estate planning has focused on leaving money for children or charities, says Tina Di Vito, head of the BMO Retirement Institute, in a statement. “However, we need to start incorporating emerging trends, such as advancements in technology, our close relationship with pets and the ongoing care of parents if we want to minimize the burden on loved ones.”
The report, “Estate planning in the 21st century: New considerations in a changing society,” found that 15% of Americans provide care for a parent, relative or friend. Of those, 58% provide both personal and financial care. However, only 33% of caregivers have made plans to continue care if they die unexpectedly.
The main reason caregivers don’t make provisions for continued care for a loved one after their untimely death is that they don’t believe their loved one will outlive them. Twelve percent simply hadn’t thought of it.
The report says 61% of Americans own a pet, and, of those, 89% consider their pets to be family member. Furthermore, 77% believe pets should be included in estate plans. Still, only a third have made plans to do so.