If you're the children of baby boomers, you're less likely to get an inheritance than if your parents are older than 65, says a new survey. And even if you do get the money, it's more likely to come with strings attached if your parents are wealthy.
The Journal of Financial Planning and Allianz Life surveyed more than 2,500 respondents and found that the older generation (over age 65) is 7 times more likely than baby boomers (ages 40 to 59) to feel they owe their children a financial inheritance.
High-net-worth individuals were more likely to favor performance-based amounts in their financial legacy than respondents who had fewer assets. So all the time you thought your parents liked your brother or sister better, you may have been right. Among the older respondents, 34 percent view inheritance planning as a source of control over their children. Typically that control or favoritism is exercised through trusts that regulate when and how much each beneficiary receives. If parents believe a child is a spendthrift, they can leave only the income from a trust and not the principal, for example. Or, if one child is caring for them in their old age, they can give that child more control over a trust's income.
For both generations, the nonfinancial legacy, such as family history, morals, faith and religion, is 10 times more important than a financial inheritance. The survey didn't reveal how the generations are planning to instill the nonfinancial legacy but did find that although approximately three-quarters of each generation felt comfortable talking about inheritance issues with their children, only about a third have followed through with communication.
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