When you die, all of your estate assets must be transferred out of your estate to another person or entity. For the average decedent, this typically means transferring assets to the next generation; however, what do the wealthy do with their money when they die? Are they all like Bill Gates who plans to leave the vast majority of his fortune to charity? A recent survey seems to indicate that Gates is the exception to the rule. In fact, it appears that the wealthy are leaving their wealth to kids and even less to charity than they have in years past.
The CNBC Millionaires Survey polled 750 Americans who have a net worth of $1 million or more to find out what they plan to do with their wealth when they die. According to the survey participants, one four percent plan to leave their children less than $100,000. About 25 percent indicated that they will leave their kids at least $500,000 with half saying they plan to leave at least $1 million to their kids. Not surprisingly, the more money people have the more they plan to leave their children with almost 90 percent of those polled who have a net worth of over $5 million planning to leave their kids at least $1 million. A shocking 20 percent plan to leave at least $100 million to the next generation when they die.
The survey results raise an interesting question – just how much money will collectively be passed down to the next generation over the coming years? Estimates vary considerably with the consulting firm Accenture estimating that $30 trillion will be passed down while the Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy chimes in with an estimate of almost double that at $59 trillion. Regardless of which figure is accurate, it appears that charities will lose out in the years to come. Two out of three survey participants indicated that they plan to leave less than ten percent of their wealth to charity when they die.
Whether you will be leaving behind a modest estate or a multi-million dollar fortune, they key to successfully passing your assets down to beneficiaries is careful and thorough estate planning. Failing to plan ahead can result in confusion at best or a loss of estate assets at worst when you die. Take the time now to discuss your estate plans with an experienced Missouri estate planning attorney. Contact the experienced Missouri estate planning attorneys at Amen, Gantner & Capriano, Your Estate Matters, LLC by calling (314) 966-8077 to schedule an appointment.