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Families Fail to Discuss Inheritance Plans

Families are still finding it very difficult to discuss inheritance plans and expectations, according to a recent study from the United States.

In its latest Family & Finance Study, Fidelity Investments® found that while the vast majority (90%) of parents and their adult children say it's important to have frank conversations about estate plans and wills, all too often the discussions aren't taking place—or at least, in a meaningful way.

In fact, while 70% of parents surveyed believe they've had detailed conversations with their children on the subject, more than 50% of their children claim this isn't the case.

Around 70% of children apparently had major misconceptions about the value of their parents' estate – and on average, children underestimated that value by $278,000. In addition, while 80% of parents believe their children know where to find important documents such as wills, power of attorney and healthcare proxies, only two-in-three children actually report possessing this knowledge.

"No matter who you are or what your family portrait looks like, establishing an estate plan is your best bet to ensure your loved ones are taken care of in your absence," explained Kevin Ruth, Head of Wealth Planning and Personal Trust at Fidelity Investments.

"While it is human nature to avoid thinking about one's own mortality, leaving the next generation in good hands with the information they need to be successful can help build a stronger family foundation,” he added. “It may also provide you with greater peace of mind and ensure your decisions and wishes are carried out exactly the way you want."

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