Planning for succession

By 16th November 2020Louise's Column

How you will “slice up your wealth pie?”

There is no easy way to say it – anticipating one’s death is an uncomfortable topic. Yet it is often worth pushing past the initial discomfort to pursue the potential rewards of effective wealth transfer planning. There are three places your assets can go at your death: to your family and friends, to charity or to the government in the form of taxes.

Almost half of all Baby Boomers say they have enough personal wealth that they can afford to gift some of it away during their lifetime, new research shows[1]. The figures, collected by YouGov show that 48% of Baby Boomers say they could afford to give money to family members before they die. Less than a third (29%) ruled it out, and 26% say they are unsure.

Larger one-off wealth transfers
Of those who say they can afford to make lifetime gifts, 40% say they would favour multiple small gifts and a third (33%) would prefer larger one-off wealth transfers. A further 30% are unsure which would better suit their needs.

Despite the large number of people who estimate they can afford to pass some of their savings and assets to family members, government statistics suggest only between 31% to 39% of people aged 50-69 have ever given a financial gift. And just a small minority appear to have a plan for regular annual gifting, with just 15% of 50-59-year-olds having gifted in the last two years.

Intergenerational financial advice
The statistics reveal the importance of wealth transfer planning and lifetime gifting advice. It is estimated that around £5.5trn of intergenerational wealth transfers will occur over the next 30 years[2]. An effective plan can lessen the likelihood of family conflict, reduce estate costs, reduce taxes and preserve wealth.

Obtaining professional intergenerational financial advice will increasingly become a key part of financial planning for the Baby Boomer generation. This generation has accrued significant personal wealth, having benefitted from rising house prices, stock market growth and the higher prevalence of generous pension schemes, and they want to give younger generations a financial boost.

Lifeline for some younger people
In contrast, younger generations often find themselves facing high house prices and the need to make significant personal contributions to their Defined Contribution pensions in order to secure a decent retirement fund.

Gifting between the generations will increasingly become a lifeline for some younger people as they struggle to get on the housing ladder, pay for school fees and deal with the ever-increasing expenses of living.

Careful balancing act to figure out
Passing on wealth to the next generation is one of the most important yet challenging aspects of financial planning. It’s vital that helping the younger generations doesn’t come at the expense of your own retirement funds and so there is a careful balancing act to figure out if you can afford it. If you can afford to gift, it’s vitally important to consider the various Inheritance Tax and gifting rules.

Despite this, there is still a clear ‘gifting gap’ between the number of people who can afford to gift and those who actually have a lifetime gifting plan in place. Gifting is a great way to help you make the most of your financial assets and enjoy seeing your life savings helping your children and grandchildren.

Source data:
[1] Research commissioned by Quilter and undertaken by YouGov Plc, an independent research agency. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. The total sample size is 1,544 UK adults, comprised of 529 Baby Boomers, 501 Generation Xers and 514 Millennials. Fieldwork was undertaken between 07/07/2020 – 08/07/2020. The survey was carried out online.
[2] Passing on the pounds – The rise of the UK’s inheritance economy. Published May 2019. Author: Kings Court Trust.