What are Current Inheritance Trends?

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KS and MO Attorney Kyle E Krull

Written by Kyle Krull

Attorney & Counsellor at Law Kyle Krull is president of the Law Offices of Kyle E. Krull, P.A., an Estate Planning Law Firm located in Overland Park, KS. Estate Planning Attorney Kyle Krull has provided continuing education instruction to attorneys, accountants, and financial professionals at local, state, and national programs.

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POSTED ON: April 30, 2024

Recent national surveys provide insights on how inheritance trends impactestate planning strategies.

Inheritance trends indicated in surveys may impact estate planning goals.

The estate planning landscape is constantly changing.

Various factors influence these shifts, including technological advancements, cultural values, population demographics, estate and tax laws, and personal priorities.

Comprehensive estate planning strategically addresses the effectiveness and structure of property transfer in the context of probate, taxes, and trust administration.

It also includes the specifics of who inherits what and why.

According to a recent survey by OnePoll on behalf of Trust & Will, "National Estate Planning Study: What do Americans Want to Pass Down," some assets may be more highly desired than others.

While an inheritance is a privilege and not a right, understanding inheritance trends can be helpful when creating a plan.

Inheritance trends guide estate planning strategies.

Fur babies are one of many inheritance trends.

How Inheritance Trends May Affect Your Estate Planning Strategies

House or Property: 

The majority of individuals surveyed would like to inherit real estate.

At 65 percent, this underscores the importance of planning to transfer real property after death.

If you want to leave a house to one or more of your adult children, work with an experienced estate planning attorney to create a plan to simplify the transfer of this illiquid asset.

Four-Legged Friends: 

According to the survey results, 59 percent of Americans would be open to inheriting a family pet.

This is a good inheritance trend for those who want to leave their furry friends to the care of someone trustworthy and who has an emotional bond with the critter.

When leaving a pet to a family member or friend, it can be helpful to set up a trust or designate a sum of cash to provide funds for the care of the pet if you become incapacitated or die.

Monetary Assets: 

According to the survey, the third most popular asset class was cash at 58 percent.

After all, "cash is king," as the saying goes.

A last will and testament or trust will enable you to provide instructions for dividing and distributing money.

How Digital Assets and Banking are Changing Estate Plans

Digital Banking: 

When it comes to managing finances, 64 percent of survey participants preferred digital banking platforms.

This shift should likely be addressed in trust documents and by trustees as they collect, manage, and distribute assets to beneficiaries.

Digital Signatures: 

Another inheritance trend includes the rise in the acceptance of digital signatures.

It seems respondents had an average of five electronic signings per year.

An experienced estate planning attorney can explain whether digital signatures are an option for estate planning documents like wills and trusts in your state.

Future Planning: 

Unfortunately, only 45 percent of survey participants had a last will.


To avoid joining this negative trend, consult with an experienced estate planning attorney and encourage your loved ones to do the same.

What are Key Inheritance Trends and Estate Planning Takeaways?

Many Americans have some interesting inheritance preferences.

As a result, estate planning strategies could need to focus more on real estate, pet care, and digital assets.

People should work with an experienced estate planning attorney in their state of residence to navigate changing trends and laws.

If you live in Kansas or Missouri, contact us at Harvest Law KC.

This post is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal advice. You should contact an attorney for advice concerning any particular issue or problem. Nothing herein creates an attorney-client relationship between Harvest Law KC and the reader.

Reference: Trust & Will "National Estate Planning Study: What do Americans Want to Pass Down"

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