This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

UBS Investor Watch Report Breaks The Awkward Silence Around Inheritance. (Graphic: Business Wire)

Stocks in this article: UBS

UBS Wealth Management Americas (WMA) today released its quarterly UBS Investor Watch report, exploring the issues around inheritance and why families avoid the topic. The survey of over 2,800 high net worth (HNW) and affluent U.S. investors found that while both benefactors 1 and heirs 2 are optimistic about giving and receiving inheritance, neither is actively engaged in inheritance planning and are reluctant to fully discuss this topic before a death in the family occurs. As a result, almost half (46%) of benefactors have not discussed their inheritance plans with their children. With an estimated $40 trillion of personal wealth expected to change hands by 2050 3, there is a lot at stake and a lot to talk about.

Top barriers to the inheritance conversation

With benefactors not wanting to divulge their wealth and heirs being afraid or unwilling to raise the topic, the inheritance conversation is one of the most important family discussions that does not take place. For those leaving an inheritance, their top three barriers to discussion are:

  • It doesn't feel like a pressing issue (43%),
  • They don’t want their offspring to count on the inheritance (32%), and
  • They don’t want their children to feel entitled to wealth (27%).

Three in four benefactors also view it as highly important that their children use their inheritance wisely and don’t squander it.

For those on the receiving end of a potential inheritance, their top barriers are:

  • Their families don’t talk openly about financial issues (46%),
  • It does not feel like a pressing issue (31%), and
  • They do not want to appear greedy (23%).

UBS Investor Watch found that even though wealthier benefactors have planned more around inheritance they are no more likely than less affluent investors to have discussed these plans with their future heirs. They are more likely to have an up-to-date will and to have put a wealth transfer plan in place, but they are still not talking about the plans with their heirs. Therefore their heirs are no more likely to know the details of the inheritance plans and are left unprepared when a parents pass. Even with more wealth at stake, emotional barriers hold back open discussions between benefactors and their heirs.

"Inheritance can be a complex and sensitive issue for both sides, parents don’t want to talk about mortality and children don’t want to appear greedy by bringing it up," said Paula Polito, Client Strategy Officer, UBS Wealth Management Americas. "But the fact of the matter is that it’s a conversation that needs to be had among families. Open lines of communication and advance planning are critical to ensuring a smooth transfer of wealth and to preventing future conflict among heirs."

Embracing the conversation

While it may not be an easy conversation to have, talking openly about inheritance planning has a tremendous impact on heirs’ satisfaction with the wealth transfer process and lowers the likelihood of disagreements among surviving family members.

1 of 5

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs