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Americans don’t want to talk about their generational wealth

(Bloomberg) — Here’s something Americans have in common: They don’t want to talk about their money and estate plans with their families.

Why? They feel that it is of no use to their family. But it is not necessary. Or they want to avoid the conflicts that can come when the heirs know who’s going to get what.

Those are the results of a survey of adults with at least $100,000 of investable assets, released Wednesday by Ameriprise Financial Inc. Only 19% said they were completely transparent.

The survey focused on generational wealth, which 44% said was defined as having half a million dollars or more to pass on after death.

Nearly 40% of those surveyed said their family should be “responsible for making their way without my financial help.” Baby Boomers were more likely to agree with that sentiment than the younger generation, with about 27% agreeing compared to Millennials and 45% of Gen Xers.

The good news for those hoping for an inheritance is that most Americans with massive investments will want to pass along generational wealth. More than two-thirds of the 3,325 adults surveyed agreed that “it is important for them to pass generational wealth to the heirs.”

About 30% plan to give some money while they are alive, and 43% estimate the amount to be $100,000 or more.

Passing on family real estate is a common plan, and about 70% of those surveyed plan to leave real estate to heirs, whether it’s land or a first or second home. But 56% did not share that plan with those who would have inherited it.

Of those with concerns about their plan to leave real estate to heirs, 14% feared potential conflicts from leaving the property to more than one heir, with 15% saying they were not sure whether heirs would pay maintenance and taxes. could swing the can, and 13% were the respective heirs would expeditiously put the property up for sale.

Read more: Tax-Free Inheritance Fuels America’s New $73 Trillion Gilded Age

Marci Keckler, senior vice president of financial advice for Ameriprise, said survey respondents, who had inherited real estate themselves, had advice for the next generation on how to do it more smoothly. “The advice was to create a plan ahead of time that includes important information about the property, include a lawyer – which sounds obvious but apparently was not the case when some people inherited it – and the details To communicate beforehand,” she said.

That advance planning can reduce stress in stressful times, especially if the heirs have different levels of wealth. “When multiple owners have unequal or unequal financial resources in the next generation, this can create challenges,” Keckler said.

She recommends that, if possible, people consider setting aside a dedicated fund to cover maintenance costs, and perhaps taxes, so that chipping in evenly doesn’t cause hardship for some family members. “Having dedicated resources for this could be a way to set the stage for more harmonious family relationships in the future,” she said.

To contact the author of this story:
Susan Woolley in New York [email protected]

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