All About Estates

2024 Learning Resolution: Longevity, Sibling Rivalry, and Wealth Management

For thousands of years, it has been a tradition for people in the Western world and some in the East to set New Year’s resolutions. Many see their resolutions as a refreshing start to the New Year – in with the new goals and out with the old. As we enter this Leap Year of 2024, it’s a good time to update our knowledge and share resources on hot topics in estate planning and elder management.

During the holidays, a business colleague and I discussed the longevity revolution and how an ageing population will have a profound impact not only on ourselves, the economy, markets, and business but also on every aspect of our lives, including our communities and governments. He reminded me that thinking about living longer and how you want to live as you get older is like running a successful business. His words – you must invest in yourself for success. When we did a small survey of our business owner friends, we were surprised to learn that no one had explored any details about the longevity revolution we are experiencing, and few had even considered their longevity and how they would live and plan differently.

Practical Readings in Longevity, Sibling Rivalry, and Wealth Management

In the interest of investing in ourselves, and with a New Year resolution to keep continuous learning front and centre in our practice, I decided to share a few recommendations. Here are three books to add to your library, not only for you but also for your clients interested in exploring current trends and issues in estate planning.

The New Long Life: A Framework for Flourishing In A Changing World.

The New Long Life. A Framework for Flourishing In A Changing World  by Andrew J. Scott and Lynda Gratton. Both authors are professors at the London School of Economics and previously authored the best-selling book The 100-Year Life. Building on their expertise in economics and psychology, they explore the longevity revolution and advances in technology and medicine, which combine to trigger fundamental social change that will alter how we live our lives as we age.

Scott and Gratton issue a call to action that we all need to be ‘social pioneers’ to redefine how we will respond to these extraordinary changes. They also provide a framework for thinking about how living a life of 100 will affect you. They outline three principles – Narrate, Explore, and Relate – to create your own planning framework.

The Narrate section focuses on navigating your life story and reimagining what it means to be older, the time you will have and how you will spend it, the changing nature of your work, reinventing your career, and determining how you define a good life.

The Explore section looks at learning and transitioning in this new life. Exploring new learning and making good transitions from one stage to another will be essential.

Lastly, the Relate section explores the need for deeper interpersonal and intergenerational connections and how you can connect to the various people in your family, caregivers, and community. Staying socially connected and developing supportive relationships will be more critical than ever.

As people live longer, estate planning is a growth industry. And all the issues we see today with families in dispute will continue to grow. The next recommendation is a must-read for estate planners and anyone making a will, changing a will, or thinking of challenging a will.

Bobby Gets Bubkes: Navigating the Sibling Estate Fight.

Bobby Gets Bubkes. Navigating the Sibling Estate Fight is an insightful and comprehensive review of sibling rivalry and resulting estate fights by Charles B. Ticker, a well-known mediator and estate litigator.

Sibling rivalry is at the heart of so many estate fights, and professionals who work in this area will agree with the Honorable Susan Greer’s comments in the forward, identifying the two motivating factors as greed and money.

From the minute I opened the book and read the title of the first chapter – Mom Always Liked You Best! – there is an acute sense that what the author outlines as sibling rivalry, concepts of fairness, and what is equal in estate disputes are also at the root of many caregiving and personal care disputes regarding a parent when they are still alive.

Ticker recommends mediation as a cheaper and less risky path to settling estate disputes.

The third recommendation is an excellent how-to resource for wealthy families and how they can effectively prepare their children to inherit wealth.

Wealth of Wisdom: Top Practices for Wealthy Families and Their Advisors.

Wealth of Wisdom: Top Practices for Wealthy Families and Their Advisors. Tom McCullough, Chairman and CEO of the Northwood Family Office, and Keith Whitaker bring together sixty leading practitioners to share practical tools and advice for advisors and members of wealthy families to use and maintain their success.

The premise behind my contributing a chapter, Building a Smart Ageing Plan, is that because so many family members live longer than past generations, a smart ageing audit tool will allow readers to plan for their own aging. For example, one can consider what they have in place now and prepare for more specific what-if scenarios. A smart ageing audit allows for detailed planning around healthcare, wellness, and medical needs while considering personal preferences, financial preparedness, and end-of-life planning. Having resources available to you does not mean they will be used well to care for you unless there is a well-thought-out plan and family members and advisors understand the plan and agree with it.


Hopefully, this blog has motivated you to consider scenarios for your clients where they think about how they wish to live to 100 (or older) and the various changes and transitions they will need to plan for. Factors such as sibling rivalry can trigger estate disputes that fracture family relationships. Careful advance planning, ongoing effective communication, and wise guidance will be the hallmarks of an effective life and estate plan. Happy New Year!

About Susan J. Hyatt
Susan J Hyatt is the Chair & CEO of Silver Sherpa Inc. A leader and author in the ‘smart aging’ movement, she is a member of the Canadian College of Health Leaders and the International Federation on Ageing. She holds a post-graduate certification in Negotiations from Harvard Law School/MIT and an MBA from Griffith University in Australia. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy specializing in critical care/trauma from the University of Toronto.


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