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How Many Americans Receive an Inheritance?

About 8% of Americans get an inheritance of any kind — and those who do inherit will likely get less than $25,000 US Dollars (USD). Less than 2% of Americans receive more than $100,000 in inheritance. This data came from a study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

More inheritance facts::

  • An inheritance can include everything from cash and property titles to debts and obligations, which can lead to a "negative inheritance" where heirs owe money.

  • In the US, the average inheritance is spent in 17 months.

  • In 2007, a Portuguese aristocrat left his entire fortune to 70 strangers that he chose at random from a phone book.

  • Inheritance tax is different than an estate tax. An inheritance tax is placed on the beneficiaries of an inheritance, while an estate tax is placed on the estate as a whole.

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