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Unrealistic Inheritance Expectations Persist, Finds Survey

Recent research from the US by Ameriprise Financial has found that 52% of Americans say they feel extremely or very confident about their family’s financial future, and this confidence apparently comes from regular family conversations about money.

Families are apparently less likely to talk about estate planning and inheritance, but even then 67% of respondents say they have talked to their parents about this, and 69% say they have discussed this with their adult children.

“Estate planning and inheritance are inherently emotional and often uncomfortable topics of conversation, but addressing them head on as a family can prevent a lot of uncertainty and tension down the road,” explained Marcy Keckler, vice president of Financial Advice Strategy at Ameriprise Financial. “Our message to anyone who hasn’t done so already is to seize the opportunity now to foster an honest and healthy dialogue with your loved ones.”

Most survey participants (83%) want to leave money or assets to a loved one; however, only 64% feel they are on track or prepared to leave an inheritance and even less (50%) have a formal plan in place.

Only 21% of parents who are planning to leave something to their children have told them how much inheritance they will receive. As a result, expectations don’t always match reality. The majority of respondents (53%) expected to receive more than $100,000. In fact, the majority (52%) of those who have received an inheritance got less than $100,000; an amount that only matched the expectations of 28% of those surveyed.

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