Vancouver Report Suggests Poor Intergenerational Communication
A report released by the Vancouver City Savings Credit Union yesterday suggests that there is a disconnect between the intentions of testators and the expectations of family members who anticipate becoming the beneficiaries of their estates.
39% of millennials living in Vancouver expect to receive an inheritance of $300,000.00 or more from their parents. However, 66% of Vancouver parents expect to leave each of their children less than $100,000.00. Among reasons for the discrepancy are increased senior debt and longer life expectancies, which both play a role in the depletion of the assets available for distribution after death.
What may compound the expectation of children living in Vancouver is the obligation in British Columbia that a testator provide a benefit for his or her surviving adult children, whether they qualify as his or her dependants or not, absent a rational and valid reason not to do so. There is no such obligation in Ontario.
With the mean price of detached houses in Vancouver of $1.83 million, testators, especially those who intend to limit bequests to their children (rather than those with smaller estates), should consider whether their estate plans provide a sufficient benefit to their children. Testators in British Columbia and elsewhere should be encouraged to consider whether estate plans reflect all of their legal and moral obligations.
The results of this report highlight the need for more effective communication between generations with respect to estate planning. While approximately 80% of seniors in British Columbia have a will, less than half have discussed the transfer of their wealth with their children. Effective communication can be the key to managing the expectations of beneficiaries and avoiding family estate disputes.
Thank you for reading.