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BMO InvestorLine Study: Average Inheritance in Canada Approximately $100,000

- More than half of Canadians have received an inheritance; two-thirds believe they will receive an inheritance in the future

- Ninety-one per cent plan to invest at least a portion of their inheritance

- Seventy-five per cent think it is important to leave money to the next generation

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 8, 2014) - As Canada goes through the biggest inter-generational transfer of wealth in history - approximately $1 trillion dollars over the next two decades - BMO InvestorLine today released a study that revealed that the average inheritance in Canada is just under $100,000. Further, more than half (55 per cent) of Canadians have received an inheritance and two-thirds (63 per cent) believe they will receive one at some point in the future.

The study also examined what Canadians would do with any money received through an inheritance:

  • Invest for key life events (91 per cent)
  • Use it to reduce debt (79 per cent)
  • Travel (78 per cent)
  • Spend on things they need (78 per cent)
  • Help other family members or friends with their key life events (75 per cent)
  • Donate to charitable causes (63 per cent)

"Canadians' financial priorities and situations differ depending on their unique needs and goals," said Julie Barker-Merz, President, BMO InvestorLine. "While it can be exciting to receive an inheritance, it's critical that you look to the future and make sure you're investing at least a portion of it. Inheritances can act as a leg up for those who may not otherwise have the cash flow to put into investments."

Ms. Barker-Merz noted that receiving an inheritance is a great time to re-evaluate investment objectives, whether saving for your child's university tuition, working towards buying a house or building your retirement nest-egg. BMO InvestorLine's Self-Directed service provides Canadians access to a wide array of investment options - such as Registered Retirement Education Plans (RESP), Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP) and Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) - that allow Canadians to invest their cash efficiently and potentially grow their savings to get them closer to achieving their investment goals.

Paying it Forward

The study also revealed that 75 per cent of Canadians feel it is important to provide an inheritance for loved ones.

"Canadians who plan to leave an inheritance for their children need to ensure that they are taking the right steps to ensure a smooth transition of assets," said Gord Graves, Vice-President and Managing Director, BMO Harris Private Banking. "It's never too early to start thinking about how you want to leave your legacy. Keeping the lines of communication open with your family is the key to successful estate planning and wealth transfer."

Regional Breakdown

Region Average amount received % who have received an inheritance % who expect they will receive an inheritance % who would invest a portion of their inheritance % who think it is important to provide an inheritance to loved ones
National $ 96,377.78 55 63 91 75
Atlantic $ 31,942.26 60 49 94 79
Quebec $ 105,963.25 50 64 86 68
Ontario $ 113,509.10 56 66 93 78
Prairies $ 49,780.45 55 65 96 79
Alberta $ 62,394.86 57 59 92 77
B.C. $ 120,339.71 58 61 92 74

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The BMO Inheritance Survey was conducted by Pollara between June 20th and 23rd, 2014, with an online sample of 1,003 adult Canadians. Data has been weighted using the latest Canadian census information to be representative in terms of age, gender and region. The margin of error for a probability sample of 1,003 is ± 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

About BMO InvestorLine

BMO InvestorLine is an online investing service that provides clients with two ways to invest online. Clients can choose from BMO InvestorLine's top ranked Self-Directed service that provides tools to help investors make independent decisions on how to invest. BMO InvestorLine's other service, adviceDirect™ provides investors with online advice and investment recommendations for their portfolios. Clients have access to trading, quotes and account information 24 hours a day through a website. BMO InvestorLine also provides users with third party research, along with leading edge tools that are informative and easy to use. As an all-in-one investment source, it is a constantly evolving, cost-efficient platform that is fully compatible with tablets.

BMO InvestorLine Inc. and BMO Ligne D'action Inc. provide this commentary to clients for informational purposes only. The information contained herein is based on sources that we believe to be reliable, but is not guaranteed by us, may be incomplete or may change without notice. The comments included in this document are general in nature, and professional advice regarding an individual's particular position should be obtained.

An adviceDirect account is a non-discretionary fee based account which offers investment recommendations. adviceDirect does not provide portfolio management by a portfolio manager. The client makes their own investment decisions and manages their own investment portfolio. adviceDirect does not offer discretionary, managed accounts.

BMO InvestorLine Inc. is a member of BMO Financial Group.

® Registered trade-mark of Bank of Montreal, used under licence. BMO InvestorLine Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of Montreal Holdings Inc. Member - Canadian Investor Protection Fund and IIROC.

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Media Contacts:
Jennifer Feeney, Toronto

Ronald Monet, Montreal