Parents and children usually find it awkward to discuss money, especially when it comes to talking about the overlap of wealth and death. That's why 68 percent of millennials expect an inheritance, yet only 40 percent of parents will probably leave them one. But, it turns out, wealthy families may be even more uncomfortable talking about money than other families.
Only 10 percent of rich parents, the Washington Post reports, give their children a full picture of what they stand to inherit.
The reasons for their silence vary, according to the Post. Twenty percent of parents say they haven't started the conversation because they haven't made up their minds how much to pass on. Fourteen percent are waiting for their children to get older and, presumably, more mature. Ten percent don't want their children to anticipate wealth they may not receive. And five percent say, "It's none of their business."
American families do have a habit of burning through massive amounts of cash: 70 percent lose their wealth by the second generation, Time magazine finds, and 90 percent, or virtually all of them, have squandered it by the third generation. Although some have built, and sustained, successful, enduring dynasties — the Hearsts and the Rockefellers, for example, and, more recently, the Dursts — it is far more common for even the foremost families in the nation to watch their standing slip away.