A quarter of parents may leave estate to grandchildren, finds survey

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14th May 2019 14:15 - Financial Services

A quarter of parents may leave estate to grandchildren: A survey of parents and millennial children has found 25% of parents are considering leaving their estate to their grandchildren, rather than their own children. It also found that 23% of millennials would not be happy if their parents by-passed them and passed on their estate to their grandkids instead.

The survey of 2,000 by financial services group Charles Stanley sought to look at issues around inheritance and found that only 24% of parents with adult kids have discussed the topic openly, with three in ten (30%) saying they have spoken to their children about their will. Just 36% have made their children executors of their estate. Of these, just 11% of children have been made aware of this move.

The average age to recieve inheritance is between 55 and 64, however the poll revealed that one in seven of the young people believe they will inherit money before their 35th birthday. In terms of how much they predicted they would be left, £130,000 was the average figure estimated. However the average amount recieved was far less, at £11,000.

The research revealed that many grown-up children assume that their parents have put all necessary documentation in place with regard to their inheritance, although just under a fifth understood that their parents do not have a will. When asking parents however, that figure is much higher with 44% saying they had not made a will. 

When asked the reasons for not openly talking to their parents about inheritance, 62% of millennials said they would be upset or betrayed if they learned their parents had left more to a sibling than them, or had left them out altogether, while 14% say the subject is 'awkward' to discuss.

According to parents polled, 19% said they may not divide their estate equally between brothers and sisters.

The survey also looked at parents gifting to their children before their deaths - with 59% of young people saying they have received a financial gift. It also found 82% of the millennials polled had not been informed that these gifts wiould be offset against any inheritance. Of the parents polled, only 5% said they had offset these against inheritance.

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