Transferring wealth from one generation to the next is a difficult conversation topic, but with the baby boom generation expected to pass down a record-breaking amount of assets over the coming years, confronting this taboo has never been so important. And experts suggest that, while discussions involving money can be uncomfortable, the best approach is invariably to talk.
The next 30 years are expected to witness the largest ever intergenerational passing of wealth as baby boomers – the wealthiest generation in history – prepare to pass on assets to their heirs. Commentators have dubbed it the ‘great wealth transfer’ with estimates1 suggesting an unprecedented £5.5tn could be set to pass between generations in the UK.
Elephant in the room
While the significance attached to the wealth transfer process is unquestionable, most families remain uncomfortable talking about money, with finance among the few remaining taboo topics. As a result, discussing money issues with their children can prove a difficult task for many parents, with conversations typically awkward or stilted. However, it is vitally important retirees involve their offspring in financial planning decisions if the wealth transfer process is ultimately to be successful.
A balancing act
The issue of inheritance unsurprisingly raises a number of concerns for parents. For instance, there is the dilemma of wanting to help children financially while not dampening their offspring’s work ethic. In addition, parents need to balance the emotional desire to leave significant sums to heirs with the need to ensure their own financial wellbeing, particularly in an era of spiralling long-term care costs.
Start the conversation
Arguably the key inheritance challenge, though, remains ensuring your children are ready to take on financial responsibility for family assets. Encouraging their involvement in your financial planning decisions now is a particularly good way to boost their financial literacy and ensure they are ready when the time comes. So, introduce them to us and we can help you start those difficult conversations.
1Kings Court Trust, 2018