A small survey conducted for IG Wealth Management shows a significant opportunity for advice-givers interested in better serving their clients: the majority do not have an estate plan, many do not update their wills in a timely fashion when life’s changes affect them and only one quarter have a plan in place to manage their finances in the event they are impacted by dementia.

The survey of 1,002 Canadians, conducted in April 2023, found just 25 per cent had an estate plan – a figure the firm says is surprising. They add that one of the biggest gaps in an estate plan is not factoring the possibility of cognitive decline as clients age.

“Many underestimate the costs associated with neurological conditions like Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia; it can be financially crippling for those directly impacted, as well as their families and caregivers,” says Christine Van Cauwenberghe, head of financial planning at IG Wealth. “Given Canada’s aging population and the widespread nature of this condition, it’s important to account for the possibility of some form of cognitive impairment within your estate plan to help reduce financial risk and hardship.”