Today, Congresswomen Deborah Ross (NC-02) and Joyce Beatty (OH-03) led a group of 14 Members in urging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra to provide financial literacy resources to address high rates of intestacy—the lack of a will or trust—in Black, Indigenous, and Persons-of-Color (BIPOC) communities. Intestacy significantly hampers the ability to transfer generational wealth, and this problem is amplified in BIPOC communities, where historic discrimination and economic exclusion already exert significant pressure.

“The prevalence of intestacy among Black and indigenous Americans and communities of color contributes directly to racial inequity by limiting families’ opportunities to effectively transfer generational wealth,” the lawmakers wrote.

The lawmakers continued, “Estate planning is a crucial step in ensuring the transfer of wealth and assets for American families. This is especially important for historically marginalized communities, for whom financial literacy and economic status are undermined by the effects of systemic racism and discrimination. Creating generational wealth, and ensuring the transfer of that wealth, can play a vital role in uplifting these communities and combatting the longstanding effects of exclusionary economic policies.” 

In addition to Ross and Beatty, Representatives Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Johnson (GA-04), Meeks (NY-05), Schakowsky (IL-09), Thanedar (MI-13), Holmes Norton (D.C.), Espaillat (NY-13), Green (TX-09), Pressley (MA-07), Thompson (MS-02), Carson (IN-07), Clarke (NY-09), Foushee (NC-04), and Nickel (NC-13) signed the letter.

Full text of the letter is available here.