Are Estate Lawyers Ready for the Baby Boomer?
In less than 25 years all boomers who are still alive will be senior citizens. That’s just one of the noteworthy statistics about Canada’s population cited in the Winter 2007 issue of LawPRO’s magazine, which is largely devoted to addressing the practice implications for lawyers of older clients.*
LawPRO wisely cautions estate planning solicitors to keep the following in mind:
- Demand for legal services is on the rise – this will continue to increase as boomers inherit the wealth of their parents (being Depression babies, possibly the richest group in Canada);
- The legal arena is more complex – keeping abreast of changes made by the legislature and the courts, and being well-versed in numerous practice areas (such as family law, real estate and wills and estates) will better equip lawyers to advise the elderly and their families; and
- More litigation is predicted – the increased wealth at stake is expected to fuel litigation involving issues of capacity, guardianship and powers of attorney.
The days of the “simple will” are long gone. The sobering reality is that we are practicing in a time where the estates are bigger, clients are more sophisticated, the law is multifaceted and expectations are higher.
A word of caution to fellow lawyers – be careful and be diligent.
* For other comments on this issue I recommend you visit Bar-ex, a virtual legal resource centre.