Wealth Transfer

Oct 15, 2018 | Joshua Opheim


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Insights into giving and inheriting wealth across generations

Within a generation, over $400 billion is expected to be passed down to inheritors in Canada. How are Canadian families preparing for one of the largest transfers of wealth in history? And will inheritors be ready? 

Personal journeys of learning

How do people learn about wealth and money? You may be surprised. We surveyed 1,054 Canadians with average investable assets of $3.8 million. Our research reveals that, while financial lessons typically begin with family, most people learn about money matters on their own.

Key findings:

  • Financial guidance begins later than you might expect, at age 26
  • 57% of respondents seek out knowledgeable individuals to help improve their financial literacy
  • Financial education is guided by family, but it’s not the most effective method

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The inheritance experience

Receiving an inheritance can be a challenging time. Most inheritors say they were largely unprepared, unsupported and uninformed about the inheritance process.

Key findings:

  • 29 is the average age for inheriting wealth from grandparents, 44 from parents
  • 3 out of 4 who talked to their benefactors before inheriting knew how much they were going to receive, but little else

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Are you ready to receive an inheritance?

 

“It’s important to get comfortable with the idea of inheriting and to understand where the inheritance comes from. In my situation, it was handed down through the sale of a family business. I’m a steward of that wealth, rather than the owner.”

- Ian, a fifth-generation heir

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Educating the next generation

Are you ready to receive an inheritance?

People want their inheritors to be better informed and more prepared than they were. But despite their good intentions, benefactors tend to repeat established patterns of behaviour, leaving the next generation relatively unprepared.

Key findings:

  • Benefactors are worried the next generation won’t preserve family wealth
  • 51% of respondents rely on family members to educate their children
  • Informal learning from family is not the most effective way to build financial literacy

Download the report