Four in 10 UK adults don’t discuss later life planning with children

Forty-three per cent of parents have admitted they never discuss later life planning with their children, according to new research from Schroders Personal Wealth (SPW).

The latest Schroders Personal Wealth Family and Finances report, which surveyed more than 1,000 parents over the age of 60, has revealed a gap in financial planning when it comes to passing on wealth.

Schroders found that a majority 78% have no estate planning strategy in place. However, most over-60s plan to pass on their wealth to their children after death (72%), with just 13% saying they would do so during their lifetime. Similarly, for those passing on assets to grandchildren, the research revealed that more than half (53%) will do so on their death, while only 12% said they plan to do so during their lifetime.

The report also highlighted a reluctance to discuss estate planning and the passing on of wealth with children. Schroder’s findings showed that 65% of parents said they rarely or never discuss inheritance with their children. Of the fifth (22%) that do have an estate plan in place, less than half (48%) said their children know exactly what the plan is, while just one in 10 (11%) revealed that they’ve never spoken to their children about their plans in place.

Furthermore, while the findings suggested that parents are reluctant to discuss estate planning with adult children, Schroders also reported an appetite among them to teach their children about money matters in general when they are young.

The research revealed that parents are most likely to talk to their children aged between
11 and 16 (28%), followed by 19% starting even younger at between the ages of five and 10. Sixteen per cent said they broached the subject of money on the approach to adulthood at ages 17 to 18.

“Family conversations around managing wealth in old age and passing it on to the next generation have never been so important,” SPW chief executive, Mark Duckworth, commented.

“Over £5.5trn will move hands between generations in the UK between now and 2055, peaking in 2035. Having a plan in place on how to handle this efficiently is crucial to pass wealth on smoothly, avoid family disputes and manage the tax bill.

“But our research in this report shows the difficulties many families have when it comes to talking about money.

“More needs to be done to encourage stronger engagement with long term financial planning. We believe that with some guidance and a plan in place, families can overcome the feelings of worry and start having the conversations they need to have to plan for their future.”

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