Ultra-rich hate ‘trust fund monsters’ more than taxes, study shows

No matter how they may be portrayed in movies and on television, the majority of ultra-high-net-worth investors are not single-mindedly focused on lowering their taxes. They are actually more concerned about their kids becoming rich little creeps, a new study shows.  

Estate planning solutions provider Vanilla Thursday announced the findings of its first-ever “State of Estate Planning” report, which showed those with a household net worth of more than $25 million were 5 times as concerned about creating “trust fund monsters” as they were about taxes.

Furthermore, it turns out those clients with $25 million plus require the most hand-holding, as they were the most likely to talk to their estate advisor regularly, with 40% reporting seeking advice from them multiple times per year.

The survey also found 71% of respondents believe assets can be split among heirs in a way that is “fair but not necessarily equal.”

The study of 1,049 consumers in the U.S. concluded that financial advisors are well positioned to help clients “develop and understand strategies to protect their family’s long-term financial well-being and legacy.”

“The responses to our survey illustrate the opportunity for advisors to embrace ‘estate advisory,’ a more expansive way to think about an advisor’s role in the estate planning process,” Gene Farrell, CEO of Vanilla, said in a statement.

Elsewhere, the report found that 75% of people whose parents had a financial advisor or estate planner reported having their own estate plan, will or trust in place, compared to just 49% of the general population. And while nearly 60% of millennial respondents reported having worked with a financial advisor, the study showed that only 38% have consulted an estate planner.

“By gaining a deeper understanding of their clients’ estate planning goals, advisors can deliver differentiated advice, expand their client relationships, win new business, and increase their ongoing value,” Farrell said.

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