A Wealth of Information
Among the top concerns for many: The national economy and threats from abroad.
The No. 1 worry of affl uent Americans continues to be that the next generation will have a more diffi cult time fi nancially -- 83% expressed this concern vs. 81% in 2005.
Most married respondents (83%) plan to leave the bulk of their estates to their spouses. If there is no surviving spouse, their children will inherit nearly three-quarters (74%) of their parents' assets.
Impact of Inheritance
Affluent parents are not particularly concerned about the impact of an inheritance on their children. Less than a third worry that:
The inheritance you leave your children will undermine their self-reliance (29%).
Your children will squander their inheritance (22%).
Family members will fi ght over your assets and possessions (18%).
You or your spouse may remarry and your children will lose their inheritance (18%).
Only 32% would encourage their child to sign a prenuptial agreement. While most affl uent parents plan to treat their children "on a totally equal basis" in their wills, certain factors could affect how much a child inherits, including:
The child's mental health (73%).
The child's ability to manage money wisely (65%).
The child's physical health (64%).
The child's inability to get and keep a good job (52%).
Who parents can rely on (43%).
The child's choice of a spouse (37%).
The following were not important in determining the size of a child's inheritance:
The child's age (26%).
Who parents get along with (21%).
The child's sex (1%).
Affluent parents were evenly divided on whether they had discussed their estate plans with their children.
On average, they believe the youngest age an individual should be entrusted with a signifi cant inheritance is 26.