Taxbriefs Commentary Library

Banking on an inheritance is a risky business

Editorial Team, 27 Oct 2016


A fifth of adult children are reliant on an inheritance from their parents to help finance their own futures, according to SunLife's Cash Happy report.

It revealed that 19% of those in the 18-34 age bracket are relying on an inheritance from Mum and Dad, with one in ten so dependent on it that they expressed concern in the survey that their parents are spending too much of it. Of course, one issue is that many parents will try to help their children financially while they are still alive and this is going to affect the amount left as an inheritance.

On the other side of the coin are the parents who need financial support from their adult children who are then struggling to save for their own futures as a result. In fact, 80% of the 18-34 year-olds having to support their parents said they were running into difficulties. However, 63% of parents providing support to an adult child are finding it a struggle - perhaps because fixed costs are lower for the older age group's income than the younger's suggests the survey.

The death of one's parents is not an easy topic to discuss - so some may be in for a nasty shock when they realise they are not getting as much as they thought, or indeed anything at all. The conclusion is therefore that people should pay attention to their own finances, rather than make assumptions about what will happen after their parents' death - and financial education is clearly needed.


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