While the biggest inter-generational transfer in Canadian history is taking place right now, a recent poll by IPC Private Wealth indicates the majority of affluent Canadians are keeping their heirs in the dark on how they plan to pass on their wealth.
Unfortunately, this lack of communication between parents and children is causing doubt and confusion among heirs and heightens the risk of many benefactors not having their wishes carried out as planned.
It seems many Canadians are avoiding this conversation. Of the 400 Canadians with at least $500,000 in investible assets surveyed by IPC Private Wealth:
- 48% have not discussed their estate with their heirs
- 46% report they intend to have a talk in the future
- 12% say they have no intention of ever discussing inheritance plans with their beneficiaries
Not having this conversation with your children can cause damage in families when dividing assets. An untimely death can accelerate estate plans with an absence of level-headed discussion. A lack of planning can significantly bog down and delay an estate transfer for months, even years. And many of us know, families have been torn apart over the division of a business, real estate or investments, especially when more than one child is involved.
Clearly, the wealth transfer process makes many people worry:
- 32% of those polled worry about their heirs’ ability to manage the money they’ll receive.
- 28% don’t trust their children’s spouses to manage the money they’ll inherit as a couple
Another surprising fact is that 80% of respondents haven’t introduced their heirs to their financial advisor. Inviting your children, whether they’re in their 20s or their 60s, to meet with your advisor is an excellent way to kick-start the wealth transfer conversation. Another way is to create an estate directory, a document listing all assets and liabilities, the location of all important documents, and the contact information of lawyers, accountants and financial advisors associated with those documents.
As experienced Advisors, we have the experience and expertise to help you and your family create a customized solution for your wealth transfer needs.
Wealth Transfer 101: How to talk to your heirs about their inheritance. Survey method: A total of 400 well-qualified respondents across Canada were interviewed using an online methodology during the period of October 17-22, 2017. Survey conducted by Environics Research.
Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not and should not be construed as, professional advice to any individual. Individuals should contact their IPC Advisor for professional advice regarding their personal circumstances and/or financial position.