I don’t agree with everything in this article, but it does make a good point about the lack of estate planning. It is surprisingly tough sometimes to get families to consider holding funds in trust to prevent kids from blowing their inheritance, and I can imagine it is even tougher for black families to get this type of advice as they are more price-conscious and likely to get poor planning at trust mills. Poor financial mentorship in general and poor estate planning in particular is undoubtedly a major factor, perhaps THE major factor, but I would not discount completely the other factors so casually dismissed by the article.
So what does account for the racial gap in wealth? Traub admits that “we haven’t fully penetrated the mystery.” One powerful factor seems to be that whites are five times as likely as blacks to receive substantial gifts and inheritances, and the sums they get tend to be much larger. The money “can be used to jump-start further wealth accumulation, for example, by enabling white families to buy homes and begin acquiring equity earlier in their lives,” the study says.