Linda's Blog

Legacy Myths

Here are the last Legacy Myths from the research study.

Myth # 5 Families Talk About Their Legacy Plans

Most elders ( 68%)thought it was important to talk to their children about their inheritance as well as their legacy. However, the study discovered that less than a third of elders and boomers have had a comprehensive discussion. The reasons for not talking include personal discomfort with talking about inheritance and death.  Some elder infantalize their children thinking their children would be upset or in denial about death. The boomers are concerned they would appear greedy if they brought up the subject. Family conflict was another barrier to discussing legacy and perhaps it was better to sweep things under the rug than raise issues that might cause problems.

Myth # 6 All Children are Equal

Equal distribution of inheritance is often seen as the best way to avoid conflict. Many elders and boomers expect the family inheritance will be distributed equally, but this is not the rule. Almost half of high net worth elders do not think that every child has the right to an equal share in their inheritance. Interesting to note this is twice the rate of thinking in lower net worth families. What prompts an unequal division is if the child provides care for the parents, or have a greater financial need. Many think the children deserve less if they cause conflict or disrespect the family.

 Parents will also turn to some children more than others for advice and input about their legacy plans. Two in five elder have an ” Alpha Child” defined as the child they turn to first.

One Comment

  1. nanaboots
    Posted April 29, 2008 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    I wish I knew about you 3years ago, my sister and her husband had my mom talked into completely cut 3 of her children out of her will and my mom had just found out she had lung cancer and the will was changed in 2weeks.
    My mom had been at my house 2 days before she had lung cancer and looked at the orginal will which only was for 4 children not one child and her husband. I have no faith on the legal system in B.C. as I was told the sqweeky grease gets the wheel and an already screwed up family is now no family and each child that lost what could have been a half ass legacy is nothing now. There is nothing but hate, contempt towards this sister and her husband.

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