Tools and digital assets on the rise in estate planning, nearly 70% of professionals are incorporating them into 2022 plans


TD Wealth Management’s Annual Survey Explores the Challenges and Opportunities of Estate Planning in 2022

CHERRY HILLNew Jersey and NEW YORK, April 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — According to TD Wealth Management’s fourth annual Estate Planning Survey, digital tools and assets could add another level of complexity to the planning process.

“People want their financial planning to progress alongside their daily use of technology and digital integration.”

This year’s survey found that more than two-thirds (69%) of estate and financial planners are now integrating digital tools into their clients’ estate plans.

Digital content that paved the way for estate plans in 2022 included blogs, social media and email accounts (71%), followed by passwords at 67%. The increase in the use of digital content and tools is consistent with an increased interest in digital assets like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (61%).

“In this current market environment, we are seeing a clear shift towards increased digitalization, whether it’s planning social media accounts, getting into cryptocurrency, or simply exploring trading tools. digital heritage planning,” says Donna Walton, Vice President, Wealth Management Strategist at TD Wealth Management. “People want their financial planning to progress alongside their daily use of technology and digital integration.”

The results also revealed that over eighty percent (83%) of estate and financial planners surveyed said they use digital tools to support their clients’ estate planning, leveraging estate planning software (52%) and online wealth and/or estate planning platforms (48%), demonstrating that a majority of estate planning professionals are going digital to effectively meet their clients’ needs.

The designation of beneficiaries appears to be the main cause of family disputes

As family dynamics get more complicated year over year, 34% of respondents cited beneficiary designation as the top cause of family conflict in 2022, up from 17% in 2021 and 14% in 2020.

To help mitigate family conflict, 84% of estate planners have encouraged their clients to discuss their estate plans with family and beneficiaries in the past 12 months. As a result of these conversations, only 15% of respondents indicated that their clients had directly raised the importance of involving family members and beneficiaries in estate planning meetings, encouraging estate planners to help initiate the inclusion of their clients’ families and beneficiaries in these conversations, rather than the clients themselves.

“Communication is key to helping reduce conflict between clients and their beneficiaries,” Walton said. “The need to openly discuss the plan and its execution allows for better preparation and results, while providing the opportunity to address any potential emotional or logistical issues.”

Estate planners continue to face planning challenges

As individuals and families face continued financial losses from the COVID-19 pandemic, market volatility emerged as the top threat to estate planning in 2022 (31%), up slightly from 22% in 2021 and 13% in 2020.

Document management is also becoming increasingly complex for clients and their independent lawyer, the most difficult to maintain being the following: powers of attorney (31%), current wills (29%, compared to 11% in 2021 and 31% in 2020) and guardian and beneficiary designations (20%, down slightly from 33% in 2021).

“In the current economic environment, people fear that market risks will upset existing plans. Many believe that inflation could devalue assets or that business and employment challenges could threaten expected earnings and shrink estate left to loved ones,” Walton noted. “In addition, there continue to be increasing challenges in organizing documents for clients. Clients and estate planners must plan for contingencies, such as legislative changes or family dynamics, to manage the increased complexity in estate planning.”

Survey methodology

TD Wealth Management has commissioned Maru/Matchbox to conduct a survey targeting Certified Estate Planners, Estate Planning Lawyers, Trustees, Charitable Giving Professionals, Insurance Advisors, Elder Law Specialists, wealth management and non-profit advisors to find the latest trends impacting estates. planning professionals. A total of 142 responses were collected. The survey was conducted in April 2022 and all samples come from the proprietary Maru/Blue panel and its partners.

About TD Wealth Management

Through TD Bank NA (TD Bank), TD Wealth Private Client Group and its affiliates (TD Wealth) work with high net worth and high net worth individuals and institutions to help them build, preserve and transfer their assets. TD Wealth Management is committed to helping personal investors, institutions and non-profit organizations gather and potentially grow their assets by building lasting relationships, and is affiliated with one of the 10 largest financial institutions in the States States, TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank ®. From private banking, securities, investment advisory services, private trust and estate planning to institutional trust including retirement planning, captive insurance and trust services, Wealth Management TD creates and delivers personalized and integrated wealth management solutions. Banking, investment and trust services are offered through TD Bank. Securities and investment advisory products are available through TD Private Client Wealth LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor and Dealer and Member FINRA/SIPC (TDPCW). TD Wealth Management is a service mark of The Toronto-Dominion Bank. For more information, visit

TD Wealth Management does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors for specific advice regarding your estate planning needs.

About MARU/Matchbox

Maru is a global leader in CX and Insights software and advisory services. Maru was founded to disrupt the data and information delivery industry with a combination of software and consulting services delivering real-time data through a unique service model. Maru helps clients make informed decisions in near real-time by combining proprietary software, deep industry experience and access to top research minds. Maru’s flexible service model means our customers can choose to directly use our self-service software to create, launch and analyze projects; or choose to use our software with knowledgeable support from knowledgeable experts. Maru successfully delivers major national and international CX and CEM programs for enterprises.

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SOURCE TD Wealth Management


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