Canadians Avoid Talking About Estates

By Andrew Rickard | July 13 2015 01:06PM

Although about half of Canadians intend to leave an estate, many have not discussed it with their heirs, and more than three quarters have not reviewed the financial and tax implications with an advisor.

A recent survey conducted for CIBC asked more than 1500 adults if they intend to leave assets to someone upon their death: 51% of respondents said yes, 33% were undecided or did not know, and 16% said no. Of those intending to leave an estate, 47% said they had not discussed the inheritance with the recipients.

As for how many had sat down to consider the monetary ramifications of an inheritance with a financial advisor, only 18% said they had done so; 79% said they had not spoken with one, and the remaining 3% said they were not certain if they had talked about the subject or not.

"Without the right amount of communication, Canadians run the risk of the next generation not being prepared to manage their inheritance", comments Sarah Widmeyer, Managing Director and Head of Wealth Advisory Services at CIBC. "There is a clear disconnect between generations when it comes to wealth transfer, and this can have a lasting impact on family legacies. Without open, honest communication, family's risk significant conflict, especially when parents' wishes don't align with their children's."