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Banking on a bequest: More than a third of Aussies expect an inheritance

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Millions of Australians would prefer their inheritance to be distributed prior to their relative's death, according to new research by Finder.

A Finder survey of 1,062 respondents revealed more than 1 in 3 (36%) Australians – equivalent to 7.5 million people – expect to receive an inheritance over the coming decades.

The research found 1 in 10 (10%) are expecting an inheritance in the next 10 years, while 13% anticipate they will have to wait up to 20 years to inherit their relative's assets.

Of those who believe they will be a beneficiary, 28% expect a cash inheritance of more than $100K, 20% look forward to a gift of around $50K-$100K, and 15% say they anticipate to inherit up to $50K.

The data shows 1 in 5 (21%) believe they will be left one property, while 4% think they will inherit two properties.

A whopping 2 in 5 (40%) – equivalent to 8.3 million people – admit they'd rather receive an inheritance as a gift while their family member is still alive.

Sarah Megginson, personal finance expert at Finder, said trillions of dollars worth of assets will be passed down to fewer heirs in years to come.

"After decades of building up wealth, baby boomers are passing down trillions in savings and investments to their children and grandchildren.

"In an era of surging home and stock values, it's going to be the largest intergenerational wealth transfer the country has ever witnessed."

A report by the Productivity Commission says it's estimated Australians aged 60 and over would transfer $3.5 trillion or an average of about $175 billion per year in wealth in the next two decades.

Megginson said it is possible and in some cases, preferable to pass on your assets while you are still alive.

"An early inheritance lets the parent see their children or grandchildren enjoying the gift, and the financial windfall at a younger age gives them more opportunity to use it towards something that drastically improves their life, like a deposit on a home or investing it in education.

"It's not a decision that should be made without some serious consideration of your future financial needs and also the tax impacts."

Megginson urged Aussies to make sure they have a will to outline how they wish for their assets to be distributed and who is controlling the process.

"It's always best to make those decisions upfront and with transparency, so relatives aren't left with false expectations.

"For those expecting to be a beneficiary, it's important to plan for how to make the most of the inheritance for generations to come," Megginson said.

Are you expecting an inheritance?
Yes in the next 5 years5%
Yes in 5-10 years5%
Yes in 10-15 years7%
Yes in 15-20 years6%
Yes in 20-years plus13%
No, I am not on good terms / do not have any family I would receive an inheritance from33%
No, my parent / family will not have any money left to pass onto me31%
Source: Finder survey of 1,062 respondents, June 2024
What type of inheritance do you expect to receive?
Cash $0 - $50,00015%
Cash $50,000 - $100,00020%
Cash above $100,00028%
One property21%
Two properties4%
I'm not sure27%
Source: Finder survey of 1,062 respondents, 383 of whom expect to receive an inheritance, June 2024
Would you rather a relative who was planning to leave you an inheritance give it to you as a gift while they were alive?
Source: Finder survey of 1,062 respondents, June 2024


  • Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker is a monthly recurring nationally representative survey of more than 60,000 respondents.
  • Figures in this release are based on 1,062 respondents from June 2024.
  • The Consumer Sentiment Tracker is owned by Finder and operated by Qualtrics, an SAP company.
  • The survey has been running monthly since May 2019.

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