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Where is the inheritance money?

Just 25 percent of Americans under 60 believe they will inherit property from their parents or other family members, but that may be unfounded. Despite the enthusiasm behind the "spending my kids' inheritance" movement, a majority of parents say they are socking money away for their children. In fact, two out of every three individuals over the age of 60 say they are saving money for their heirs. Even though parents may not have indicated that they intend to hand down assets, most Americans are planning on leaving a financial legacy behind.

Statistics show that U.S. retirees, many of whom reside in Florida, currently hold some $8.4 trillion in inheritable assets. About $2.4 trillion has already been doled out to the baby boomers, but the rest of the money is waiting to be distributed through estate plans. Even though many people say they intend to hand over some money to their heirs, most Americans do not believe they will ever see this financial benefit. In some cases, kids just assume that the tough economic times are precluding any inheritance. In others, parents may have misled their heirs to think that they will not be receiving a payout.

The conception may not be off target, though, in some cases, as financial circumstances are likely to change in the next two decades. Although retirees may have saved up money with the intent of handing it down, they might not be able to thanks to a dwindling economic climate. In addition, a lot of this money is concentrated in the hands of a few wealthy investors. Further, some 60 percent of retirement-aged workers have saved less than $100,000 for their later years.

Ultimately, the best way to manage estate plans is to discuss your holdings with your beneficiaries. Those who might be handing down an inheritance should be honest with their heirs about the nature and amount of those awards.

Source: www.dailyfinance.com, "The kids think you are spending their inheritance. Are they wrong?" Rich Smith, Sep. 26, 2013

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