Tom Deans

Intergenerational Wealth Expert

Over the next 20 years, Canadians will inherit $1 trillion. Award-winning speaker and Globe and Mail bestselling author Dr. Tom Deans explains how this unprecedented wealth transfer will transform lives, culture, and Canada itself. Thought provoking and contrarian, Deans inspires his audiences to cast an eye forward to their future as both beneficiaries and benefactors and makes a powerful case for audiences — regardless of their wealth — to live extraordinary and purposeful lives in the service of others.

Deans is currently the President of Détente Financial Press, which specializes in offering advanced executive training for financial institutions, charities, as well as legal and accounting firms. Previously, he worked in banking, was the CEO of a multinational for almost a decade, the president of a railway, and chaired a federal government committee on tax credits.

His book Every Family’s Business is an international bestseller that has sold more than a million copies in 100 countries to date and has been called one of the top ten books business owners should read by The New York Times. His latest book, Willing Wisdom, represents a return to his doctoral research conducted in the US, Canada, and the UK.

Deans has been featured in numerous magazines and journals including Profit, Money Sense, Investment Executive, and The New York Times. He is also a frequent guest on CBC, MoneyLine, and BNN on succession planning, intergenerational wealth transfers, and philanthropic giving.

We All Leave Our Business One Day

Dr. Tom Deans delivers an inspiring and motivational speech to business owners around the world to explore the business exit plan that’s right for them.  Using the process and key messages from his international best-selling book, Every Family’s Business, he shows audiences how to transition the wealth and wisdom of a business to the next generation.

His speech addresses the reservation that many business owners feel toward the idea of leaving significant wealth to family versus their operating business. His use of story telling and data leaves audiences understanding that great families and high functioning relationships are built one conversation at a time.  By encouraging family to pursue their own authentic dreams, Dr. Deans shares how business owners can leave family more than just money when a business is sold.

Presentation Themes:  Business Exit Panning, Business Succession Planning, Business Culture, Inspiration, Family, Friends, Community, Discovering Your Legacy, Living a Purposeful Life, Aging, Raising Authentic Children, Preparing Heirs.

Helping Employees Live Extraordinary Lives

A staggering 50% of all Canadians are without wills.  For those who do have wills, 40% are badly out-dated.  The resulting destruction of wealth and family relationships will escalate as baby bombers retire in greater numbers.

Dr. Tom Deans shows how and why leading companies are investing resources today to educate employees about the importance of preparing estate plans including the writing of wills. He leaves employees inspired to begin conversations with their own parents and children about the division of assets, issues of Guardianship, Powers of Attorney and Advanced Health Care Directives – all issues which when left unaddressed can have devastating consequences for employees and the companies they work for.

Dr. Deans shows employees how preparing a will can help them find value and purpose in the work they do everyday by living life in the service of others.  His skilled use of humour, story telling and data leaves audiences understanding that great companies, like great families, are built purposefully over time, one conversation and relationship at a time.

Presentation Themes: Personal Finance, Living A Purposeful Life, Company Culture, Inspiration, Holistic View of Business, Family and Community, Caring for Aging Parents.

Dividing Estates Between Family and Charity. The $1 Trillion Dollar Dilemma

It’s a convention speech for the ages. How much money should we leave our children? Does fair mean equal? What are the risks of leaving too much wealth too soon, and will money destroy our children and their will to work?  What about those who have no children? What are the implications of leaving all of our money to Charity?

As the greatest generation of wealth creators near retirement, reconciling how their estate will be divided is proving both complicated and emotional. Dr. Deans shares 7 Questions that audiences can use to begin their own conversations with their potential beneficiaries to guide their giving decisions.  Prepare to unlearn everything you thought you knew about wills and estate planning as this fast paced, entertaining, keynote reframes the writing of a will as an optimistic hope filled exercise full of potential to build deeper more enduring relationships with family, friends and community.

Presentation Themes: Living an Inspiring Life, Business Succession Planning Philanthropy, Estate Planning, Preparing Heirs, Legacy Planning, Dynastic Families.

When Charity Meets Family

Dr. Tom Deans brings his inspiring Willing Wisdom keynote speech to charities and donors around the world.

Donors and potential donors learn first-hand the joy and satisfaction of planning their legacy gifts in collaboration with family. Described as one of the most powerful and effective donor speeches, the Willing Wisdom Keynote leaves audiences motivated to take action with respect to living purposeful lives by beginning with the end in mind.

Presentation Themes: Transparent Estate Planning, Family Communication, Preparing Heirs, Avoiding Estate Litigation, Building Legacy, Living a Purposeful Life, Inspiration, Aging.

Advisors, It's Time for the Will Talk...

Wealth management professionals, lawyers and accountants are often baffled when clients refuse to write or up-date their wills.

More than 50% of North American adults have no will and an estimated 40% have badly out-dated estate documents.

Over the Next 20 years, Canadians will inherit more than $1 trillion dollars. For some, this wealth transfer will be smooth, efficient and bring out the best in family.  For other families, this wealth transfer will be shrouded in secrecy, it will be complicated by litigation, government involvement and family relationships deeply divided.  It should come as no surprise that 90% of assets transferred to the next generation don’t stay with the existing advisor.

Advisors can reverse this trend and can play a pivotal role in the estate planning process by facilitating wills that are thoughtfully and artfully crafted. This is not a talk about reducing tax but rather about building dynastic families that thrive for generations.

Presentation Themes:  Family Office, Advanced Estate Planner Training, Preparing Heirs, Guiding Giving Decisions, Inspiration, Retirement Planning, Caring for Parents, Aging.

Preparing Heirs: A Family Meeting You Won't Soon Forget

Estate Planners bring Dr. Tom Deans and his Willing Wisdom message to your client’s next family meeting/retreat.

From El Salvador to South Africa, Dr. Deans has been a special guest speaker at hundreds of family meetings in 14 countries and 38 US States.  With a family’s trusted advisor(s) present, Dr. Deans shows first-hand how to begin unique and powerful conversations around a client’s transfer of wealth and wisdom using his innovative 7 step process revealed in his best-selling book Willing Wisdom.

Presentation Themes: Building a Legacy, Preparing Heirs, Dividing Assets, Communication, Collaborative Wills, A Family Built to Last, Supporting Patriarchs and Matriarchs. Releasing The Next Generation’s Potential.

Inspiring Client Conversations that Change Lives

The Willing Wisdom Keynote Speech designed for advisor conferences and professional advisor workshops including: wealth management, insurance, legal, and accounting.

Dr. Deans is a full-time professional speaker and does not sell financial products.  His sole focus is providing advisors with inspirational training and tools to help individuals and their families protect and transfer their wealth and wisdom.  His research insights are new, poignant and timely.  Advisors will acquire the confidence to play a crucial role in lowering intestacy rates while at the same time positioning their products and services more quickly and effectively.

Dr. Deans shows how the intergenerational success of clients can translate into the intergenerational success of an advisor and his or her practice.

Presentation Themes:  Using Wills in a Client Discovery Process, Estate Planning, Deep and Long Client Engagement, Finding Social Purpose as an Advisor. Where Psychotherapy Meets Estate Planning, Succession Planning for Advisors.

Inspiring Client Conversations that Change Lives 2.0

Advisors can go deeper with the 2-Hour Willing Wisdom Workshop.   Advisors learn how to map a client’s wealth transfer plan using wills in a unique and powerful process of discovery.

This two-hour Advisor Training Workshop will give advisors the in-depth knowledge and confidence to guide families with soft issues – something experienced advisors know are anything but soft. Advisors learn how to use client conversations about  “wills” to build goodwill, trust and confidence.

Presentation Themes:  Using Wills in a Client Discovery Process, Estate Planning, Deep and Long Client Engagement, Finding Social Purpose as an Advisor. Where Psychotherapy Meets Estate Planning, Facilitating Inter-generational Wealth Transfers.