A Massive Wealth Transfer is Coming, but the Next Generation May Not Be Ready

August 12, 2019

Over the next 25 years, $68 trillion in wealth is expected to be passed down, according to research from Cerulli Associates. Even with such a massive shift, few individuals have discussed their intentions with their heirs.

A new survey from Merrill Private Wealth Management looked at how high wealth individuals, those with at least $3 million in assets, have prepared for the wealth transfer. A large majority, 64 percent, said they have had no discussion about how their assets will be passed on, and less than half, just 46 percent, have discussed things like values or operating principles. Despite this, they expressed anxiety about how their inheritance will be spent, and worry that the money they leave to their loved ones will not be well managed.

The most common reason for not having the conversation is the complexity of the issue. Respondents also worried that their children may be demotivated if they know how much they stand to inherit, or that such discussions could create tensions in the family.

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