Adults don’t want to talk about inheritance, research finds

Almost four in five UK adults (79 per cent) haven’t discussed their inheritance with the rest of their family, according to research from NFU Mu…

Almost four in five UK adults (79 per cent) haven’t discussed their inheritance with the rest of their family, according to research from NFU Mutual.

The insurance provider claims that family squabbles are being fuelled unnecessarily by people failing to decide how their money and belongings should be shared out in the event of their death.

That’s because most adults don’t feel comfortable talking about it and would rather avoid the notoriously sensitive subject altogether, so says Sean McCann, Chartered Financial Planner at NFU Mutual.

“Talking to family about inheritance plans can help manage expectations and avoid painful and potentially costly disputes,” he explained.

Mr McCann warned that bitter drawn-out disputes can erupt as a result of not talking about inheritance, adding that matters become even more complicated when children from earlier marriages are also involved.

“Making sure that their spouse is able to maintain their lifestyle, while protecting the interests of their own children should their widow remarry or die, is a concern for many,” he said.

NFU Mutual regularly sees cases where everything is left to the surviving spouse who then remarries and makes a will in favour of their new partner or due to a family dispute decides not to pass assets on to their stepchildren.

Creating a trust in your will is one effective way round this. Without a will, the law decides what happens to your estate. It also allows you to give your spouse the right to receive an income or benefit from your assets during their lifetime, and on their death, these assets are then passed to your children.

Some 2,052 over 18s were questioned online between 21th – 30th May 2016 as part of NFU Mutual’s research.

On a separate note, recent research from Sunlife Insurance found that seven in ten grandparents intend to leave their grandkids some inheritance in their will.

Trust is clearly an issue though, with more than half (55%) ‘ringfencing’ the money to ensure it is passed on directly to their grandchildren, rather than leave it to their own children to pass on.

By James Francis

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