Three generation of women on a sofa

Canadians are moving away from traditional generational wealth transfers, with many looking to leave an inheritance before they die, a recent study from Edward Jones found.

According to the study, almost two-thirds (65%) of Canadians said they’re looking to pass along their inheritance, or at least a portion of it, to support their loved ones before they’re gone. 

More than half (56%) of respondents over the age of 45 said their motivation for giving assets early is “so they can see their inheritors benefit from what they leave behind.”

Further, 58% of respondents said a loved one’s financial needs would motivate them to leave an inheritance early, a sentiment that particularly resonated with women (67%) compared to men (58%). It also resonated with those living in provinces with a higher cost of living, such as British Columbia (69%), Alberta (66%) and Ontario (65%).

“We are in the midst of the largest transfer of wealth in Canadian history, and for many, particularly younger Canadians, the financial support they receive from loved ones is helping accelerate their progress towards long-term goals, such as owning a home or starting a family,” said David Gunn, president of Edward Jones Canada, in a statement.

Despite the growing appetite to transfer wealth early, another recent survey by Edward Jones found that procrastination is still an issue for most Canadians. 

The study found that almost three-quarters (73%) of Canadians over the age of 45 have not started planning for intergenerational wealth transfer, with 32% admitting procrastination is the main reason they haven’t begun to plan, and an additional 29% saying they didn’t know where to begin. 

The two online surveys were conducted for Edward Jones in late October and early November. One targeted 600 Canadians over 45 via Google Consumer Surveys while the other surveyed 1,509 adult Canadians via Pollara Strategic Insights. The latter results were weighted using the latest StatsCan data to be representative of the Canadian population as a whole, but online surveys can’t be assigned a margin of error because they don’t randomly sample the population.