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Where there’s a Will…

Have you heard of the Great Wealth Transfer?  This is the transfer of approximately $30 trillion dollars from Baby Boomers to their heirs that will be happening over the next several decades.  It will create challenges for Boomers, heirs and the financial industry alike.

A recent report from BMO Wealth Management says failure to prepare families for the financial transition could lead to family discord.  Divorce, remarriages and couples unmarried but living together introduce multiple dynamics into the family mix and can make asset distribution a contentious matter.

Some startling statistics include:

  • Only 28% of all adults knew the details of their parent's wills or estate distribution plans
  • 40% of parents surveyed have never discussed their estate intentions with their children
  • 25% of married adults said only their spouse knows the location of their wills/power of attorney.
  • 55% of all adults between the ages of 35-54 surveyed do not have a will

Family feuds can ensue when members feel they don't get their fair share but it doesn't have to come to that.  Open communication between parents and their children can help defray possible conflict and set the expectations. 

For items such as artwork and jewelry, getting appraisals ahead of time will help alleviate negative feelings and ensure people feel the value of what they are receiving.

Whatever method you use to distribute sentimental assets and money, make sure you document it and a copy is with your will and everyone involved.

Working with a trusted financial advisor and estate planner will go a long way toward minimizing family discord and potential conflict among heirs.   


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