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• Nov 19, 2018

Are you a wealthy millennial who dreams of changing the world for the better? If so, you are in good company.

A profound generational shift in attitude is underway when it comes to making a difference, with three quarters (77 per cent) of high-net-worth millennial benefactors – or "milleni-factors" – surveyed saying they believe it's important to leave a legacy, and nearly two thirds (63 per cent) saying that they feel they have a duty to do so.

According to the findings of a new survey conducted by Environics Research Group and commissioned by TD Bank Group, high net worth millennials are more likely to say they believe it's important to leave a legacy through philanthropy or other types of giving than previous generations.

By comparison, older generations of high-net-worth individuals are much less likely than these millenni-factors to report the same feelings. For example, just 33 per cent of wealthy Boomers and 42 per cent of wealthy Gen Xers said they feel it’s important to leave a legacy.

“High-net-worth Millennials stand out among other demographics for their heightened desire to positively impact the world,” says Jo-Anne Ryan, Vice President, Philanthropic Advisory Services at TD Wealth.

“This trend indicates that the philanthropic giving landscape in Canada will be reshaped in the years to come, as these millenni-factors look for ways to put their assets to work to change the world for the better.”

Although the majority of millennial respondents polled expressed a desire to make a positive difference in the world, half (49 per cent) of them don't have a will and less than a third have a will that is up to date (31 per cent).

"It doesn't matter how good your intentions are, if you don't have a will, they may never come to fruition," adds Ryan.

If you are considering leaving some or all of your estate to charity, the following tips are a good place to start:

Where There’s a Will: If you haven’t done so before, now may be the time to make a will. A will can help give you control over how your assets will be divided, shaping what your charitable legacy can be. If you are like many high-net-worth millennials, making a lasting difference is important. A financial advisor can help you maximize the value of charitable donations.

When Tomorrow Comes: Think about the causes and charities that matter to you and determine which will be relevant to the changing world of tomorrow.

Heir Transparent: Talk to your heirs, or those who may assume they will be receiving an inheritance from you, to set the expectation that you may be leaving some or all of your estate to a charitable cause.

Succession Success: If you are an entrepreneur, developing a succession plan may help ensure that any future owners of the business continue to live up to your values and philosophies.

TD Bank Group commissioned Environics Research Group to conduct a custom survey of 6,021 Canadians aged 18 and older, which included 593 Canadians with $500K+ in investable assets and 194 Canadian business owners with $100K in investable assets. Responses were collected between February 20 and March 1, 2018.