By Legal Futures Associate Tower Street Finance
Serious issues and confusion are being caused for families who are unable to communicate clearly with each other over inheritance planning.
A recent report* found that 47% of people don’t intend to split their estate equally between their children which may come as a shock to those left behind. Two thirds of parents think their children are clear about what their plans are while only 39% of children claim they are aware.
As well as the obvious, such as estrangement, several specific reasons were cited for unequal division of wealth among siblings.
15% said they’d already given one or more of their children significant support during their lifetime so wanted to reduce the amount they left to balance amounts fairly between siblings.
14% had children with different financial responsibilities and felt some needed more support than others, and a further 14% said they would be leaving more to their children who had lower incomes than the others.
Different approaches to money also featured as a reason for uneven splits. 13% said they’d offer more support to their children who were not as responsible with their finances while the same number said they’d leave more to their offspring who they trusted to use the proceeds more wisely.
Tower Street Finance’s Dicky Davies says: “The subject of death and inheritance remains a taboo with less than a quarter (23%) of children having those open conversations with their parents.
“This obviously means that nasty surprises can spring up at a time when emotions are already heightened while dealing with grief after the loss of a parent.
“Clear communication during life could alleviate a lot of that stress which can lead to disputes between siblings who may not feel the wealth has been fairly distributed.
“We have a range of products which can help people who have needs relating to an inheritance and already have hundreds of firms who have partnered with us to offer our products to help their clients.”
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*Survey by Netwealth of 2,000 people including 1,000 young adults aged 25-35 and 1,000 parents of 25-35 year=olds