“What kind of legacy will you leave behind? How will you be remembered? What will your children and your children’s children say about you?”1
These questions for Clients may seem to be outside the realm of financial advice — too intense, deep and profound to ask during a meeting about their financial needs. But if Clients are accumulating assets without considering their legacy, answering these questions can lay the foundation for an estate and legacy plan, including intergenerational wealth transfers.
Research can help us understand how Canadians feel about their legacies, final wishes, transfers of wealth, and inheritance expectations:
52% of respondents said their legacy consists of2:
- How they’re remembered.
- The impact they have on the world through their achievements.
- The financial gifts they leave for loved ones or charity.
Many survey respondents expect to leave money when they die3:
- Almost half (46%) say it is “very likely” they will leave an inheritance.
- Another 31% say it is “somewhat likely.”
Where there’s a will, there’s a legacy way:
- 2/3 of working Canadians don't have a will.4
- In a survey’s “Tips for a successful retirement,” 82% of retirees say “making a will” is important.5
What’s most important to Clients when it comes to their financial legacy?6:
- 38% want to make sure that when they die, they won’t leave a financial burden on their family.
- 32% want to make sure they have access to the money they need to create memories with friends and family, or to achieve a significant accomplishment while they’re still alive.
While having a will is important for Clients’ legacies, it’s equally important to ensure that their money ends up in the hands of their intended recipients. Clients need to discuss their legacies more and take action to make sure their final wishes are followed according to their plans. With careful planning during their accumulation years — and your help — they can leave the legacy they want.
Wealth products with guarantees can provide secure, tax-efficient and dependable pathways for Clients to leave their mark. One example is segregated fund contracts, also known as guaranteed investment funds (GIFs). They can provide insurance benefits, such as the ability to name beneficiaries and bypass probate.
Consider the GIFs wealth solution
With GIFs, in the “getting ready for retirement” stage, Clients can participate in the markets but still have protection for legacy goals. For Clients in retirement, GIFs can help cover lifestyle expenses, as well as providing guarantees and the potential for investment growth.
- a 100% death benefit guarantee – the greater of the death benefit guarantee or the contract’s market value at death,
- annual automatic resets – the estate value is locked-in annually if market values are higher than the previous guarantee amount, so the death benefit has nowhere to go but up, and
- control over legacy settlement – Clients’ assets are distributed according to their wishes, with options to allocate money through a payout annuity.
Many Canadians have ideas about their legacy — and questions about how to ensure they can leave a meaningful one. A good foundation for the discussion starts with showing Clients how wealth products with guarantees fit into their estate and legacy plans.
Start the conversations with Clients
1 Lindsey Rietzsch, Author.
2 The information in this box is from a Sun Life Financial 2013 CARP survey of 1,700 Canadians aged 45 and over, about their legacy goals.
3 The information in this box is from the Sun Life Retirement Now Report, 2016.
4 2019 Sun Life Barometer Report.
5 Sun Life Retirement Now Report, 2016.
6 The information in this box is from the Sun Life Financial 2013 CARP survey.