American Millionaires Show Tough Love to Heirs: Here's Help, But Make Your Own Way

Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:00am EST

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Leaving a legacy includes money, but it's about much more than that, PNC survey
finds -

PHILADELPHIA,  Jan. 10, 2013  /PRNewswire/ -- More than four in five (82
percent) of American millionaires agree that each generation should be
responsible for creating its own wealth, up significantly from the 65 percent
who said the same thing in 2007, according to a new survey from PNC Wealth

In another post-recession scenario, one third (31 percent) of millionaires
anticipate a decline in the wealth they expect to pass on to the next
generation, according to the ninth annual Wealth and Values Survey. This number
has more than doubled since this topic was addressed in a previous Wealth and
Values survey in 2007.  However, 49 percent report that they expect to pass on
at least  $500,000  of wealth to their heirs. More than eight in 10 (84 percent)
say raising successful, hard-working children is their most important goal, an
increase from 75 percent from five years ago.

"It is human to want your children to have a better life than you have had, but
too much financial support might, at some point, have negative longer term
consequences," said  Steve Pappaterra, senior vice president and managing
director of wealth planning for PNC Wealth Management.  "It is important to
communicate early and often with children and grandchildren about their goals
and expectations, both in terms of financial and life achievements. Ultimately,
parents want their children to make their own way in life."

In addition, the survey examined the notion of leaving a legacy, which goes
beyond the simple step of transferring financial assets to the next generation.
Nearly half (46 percent) of American millionaires said it means being remembered
and passing on important family traditions. About two in 10 (19 percent) mention
property as the biggest part of their legacy while 15 percent say the idea of
leaving a legacy is an outdated notion.

The  Wealth and Values Survey  by PNC, which is among the nation's top 10
bank-owned wealth management firms, also revealed insights about the following

* What, me wealthy?  Three quarters (75 percent) said their financial situation
growing up was "average," while 12 percent said they grew up poor and an equal
number said they grew up well off or wealthy.  
* Leaving a financial legacy:  Millionaires expect financial aspects to be a
significant component of their personal legacies.  Nearly nine in 10 (86
percent) intend to leave something tangible for the next generation. They intend
to do this in a variety of ways: passing on property, family heirlooms, or
ownership/participation in a business. More than four in 10 (46 percent)
millionaires expect to pass on assets through a trust fund.  
* Help is there:  Millionaires acknowledge they received some help (67 percent)
from their own parents and they are doing more for their own children (91
percent). Not surprisingly, in light of the rising cost of education more than
eight in 10 (84 percent) say they have or expect to provide financial support
for higher education. Millionaire parents also strongly support basic purchases
such as a car (61 percent) and down payments on homes (45 percent), as well as
other general expenses.   
* Transfer of wealth:  A vast majority of wealthy households have taken some
steps to plan for their ultimate transfer of wealth.  Most have wills (82
percent) and some have established trusts (52 percent) and/or estate managers
(52 percent). But nearly one in five (18 percent) do not have a will and seven
in 10 (70 percent) do not have a formal financial plan.  Among wealthy business
owners, surprisingly few, only 15 percent, have a formal succession plan in
place. Among those who already have set up a will, estate or trust plans, few
have gone so far as to put in place any stipulations on how heirs access that
inheritance (20 percent of millionaires).

An online media kit containing survey highlights and background information are
available on PNC's website at  

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. ( is one of the nation's
largest diversified financial services organizations providing retail and
business banking; residential mortgage banking; specialized services for
corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate
finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. Follow 
@PNCNews  on Twitter for breaking news, updates and announcements from PNC.

Survey Methodology

The  Wealth and Values Survey  was commissioned by PNC to identify attitudes
about wealth among high-net-worth individuals, how it affects their lives and
their needs in managing wealth. Artemis Strategy Group conducted the online
survey in August and  September 2012, 1,115 interviews were completed nationally
including 560 millionaires with assets of  $1 million  or more. Sampling error
for 560 respondents is +/- 4.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.
DISCLAIMER: This report was prepared for general information purposes only and
is not intended as specific advice or recommendations. Any reliance upon this
information is solely and exclusively at your own risk.

The survey was designed and managed by HNW, Inc. (, an integrated
marketing and technology firm with a focus on financial services and
understanding and connecting with the affluent. The survey was supported by
Artemis Strategy Group (, a communications strategy research
firm specializing in brand positioning and policy issues.

This report has been prepared for general informational purposes only and is not
intended as specific advice or recommendations. Information has been gathered
from third party sources and has not been independently verified or accepted by
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. PNC makes no representations or
warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of the information, assumptions,
analyses or conclusions presented in the report. PNC cannot be held responsible
for any errors or misrepresentations contained in the report or in the
information gathered from third party sources. Any reliance upon the information
provided in the report is solely and exclusively at your own risk.


Alan Aldinger   
(412) 768-3711

SOURCE  PNC Wealth Management
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