Sounds exciting doesn’t it? Many readers who are under age 75 may already be thinking about ways to spend this money. Money that they have yet to receive. The CIBC study reported that there are about 2.5 million Canadians over the age of 75 with a total net worth of $900 billion or more. In fact, the study also highlighted that this will be the largest intergenerational wealth transfer of approximately $750 billion that will be inherited over the next decade by baby boomers.
The July 2014 BMO study indicated that the average inheritance was about $100,000. This CIBC report indicated that the average inheritance received by those between 50-75 years of age over the past decade was $180,000.
However we know in the estate and trust world, inheritances may not always be counted upon.
The CIBC study noted that 75% of Canadians feel it is important to leave an inheritance. My read of this is that this implies an inheritance being left to family members. A 2012 US study noted an increase in adults who never married and do not have children. I wonder who will be the beneficiary in these instances? Will it be a distant relative or a charitable or religious organization perhaps?
My day to day work is with individuals and families who are alive, those who are either needing or anticipate needing caregiving assistance. These disputes are often in relation to whether monies should be spent on care for the older individual, which of course would deplete the financial reserves and any future inheritance. Elder law lawyers Jan Goddard and Laura Tamblyn Watts were interviewed on CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition on the topic of ‘Inheritance tension: Why more families may be headed for court’. Their interview highlights many of the challenges experienced as we continue to live longer, require more care, lose capacity and have children who may be waiting for their inheritance.
Lesson learned? ‘Don’t spend what you don’t have. I think this applies to anticipated inheritances as well.