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Survey Data From FreeWill: Younger Americans Plan to Get Financial Advisors when they Inherit, New Poll Finds
[December 06, 2022]

Survey Data From FreeWill: Younger Americans Plan to Get Financial Advisors when they Inherit, New Poll Finds

  • 79% state that they will be more likely to work with an advisor after inheriting
  • 73% say one of the first things they will do when they inherit is to work with an advisor
  • Most cited factors for retaining their family's advisor are family satisfaction with their advisor and estate planning prowess

NEW YORK, Dec. 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite having a growing number of choices relating to how they manage their money, Americans poised to inherit significantly in the $84 trillion1 "great wealth transfer" say working with a financial advisor will be a major priority upon receiving their inheritance – according to survey data from FreeWill, a social-good enterprise at the nexus of philanthropy and estate planning.

Surveying Millennials and Gen Xers whose parents or grandparents work with a financial advisor and who expect to receive an inheritance, FreeWill found that nearly eight in ten respondents are likely to seek professional help in managing their money once they have more of it, up from just 47% today. Additionally, greater than 70% of respondents prefer to work with a human advisor rather than an automated service. Of note:

  • Of the 79% who expect to work with an advisor after inheriting, 54% will be much more likely to seek professional help in managing their money once they have more of it
  • 73% plan to turn to a financial advisor as one of their first orders of business after inheriting
  • 66% are likely to use the same advisor as their parents or grandparents, roughly matched by the 69% who report having met with their family's advisor before
  • Respondents also revealed a few priorities and factors that would guide their decision-making in terms of how to manage their money:
  • When asked what they valued most in a financial advisor, 67% responded with getting the highest return on their portfolio; 64% responded with personalized attention. Avoidance of high fees was named in 45% of responses, roughly the same as estate planning, 43%
  • The most frequently cited factors for whether or not to retain their family's advisor was whether family members spoke favorbly about the advisor (45%) as well as knowledge of estate planning (41%).
  • 73% say estate planning will become a bigger priority for them once they inherit; 59% of respondents have started or completed their estate plans, of those just 16% say they're complete and up-to-date
  • 7 in 10 respondents say they'd be likely to give to charity in their estate plan, with Millennials more charitable than Gen X (74% to 62%)

"We hear a lot of fear from financial advisors that younger generations might move assets away from traditional advisors en masse as they inherit from their parents and grandparents. Our research shows that this may not be true, especially when advisors are proactive about preparing for the transition of wealth" said Jenny Xia Spradling, co-CEO of FreeWill. "What we found is that advisors with close relationships with their clients as well as their future heirs should continue to thrive, particularly if they are knowledgeable about growing priorities such as estate planning and how to incorporate giving and purpose into the equation."

Data also showed that female respondents had different sentiments than male respondents in terms of managing their money. Specifically:

  • Female respondents are less likely (40%) than males (55%) to have an advisor today
  • Female respondents are less likely (60%) to have met with their family's advisor than males (79%)
  • Female respondents are less likely (54%) to invest their inheritance with an advisor than males (65%)
  • 52% of male respondents prefer to work with a younger advisor, compared to 33% of females
  • 54% of female respondents cited avoiding high fees as key value in an advisor relationship, compared to 37% of males

Xia Spradling concluded, "Looking forward, there are several actionable insights we were able to glean from our data, particularly contrasts along gender lines, which suggest significant opportunity for advisors to invest in relationships with the daughters of current clients. Household spending and investment decisions increasingly do not adhere to strict gender roles."

Of the respondents, 60% expect to receive an inheritance of at least $100,000 and 39% expect at least $250,000; 63% of respondents have an estimated current net worth of at least $100,000.


Based on findings from a custom survey conducted by OnePoll on October 28-November 1, 2022, assessing 1,000 U.S. adults ages 25-57 whose parents or grandparents have a financial advisor and who expect to receive an inheritance.

About FreeWill

FreeWill is a social-good enterprise offering online tools that empower Americans to address commonly faced estate planning needs and make charitable donations in tax-advantaged ways, all for free. FreeWill also features a charitable giving platform that makes it easier for nonprofit fundraising teams to unlock transformational non-cash gifts. Through its partnerships with 1,000+ nonprofits who understand that major gifts often are part of estate plans, the company is also able to provide a comprehensive suite of estate planning and related tools to consumers free of cost. To date, FreeWill has generated more than $7 billion in planned and real-time gifts for more than 10,000 nonprofits while helping more than 600,000 consumers create wills and plan their estates.

Roger Sauerhaft
[email protected]


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SOURCE Free Will

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