British Attitudes Towards Wills & Bequests

Research by wealth management company Charles Stanley provides some interesting insights into British attitudes towards making wills and receiving bequests. Slightly more than two thirds (68%) of UK adults intended to divide their assets evenly among their children, however, 16% said they would not do so, while a further 16% remained undecided. Reasons given for not splitting wealth equally included the differing personal circumstances of children, and how close relations were between parents and children later in life.

The research also revealed the family problems and distress that result when an inheritance is not split equally between children. Roughly half of the baby boomer generation (those born between 1946 and 1964) said they would be upset by an uneven split, and more than a third of all UK adults felt the same.

British people are surprisingly shy about discussing inheritances, with only one in five respondents stating that they had talked openly about the subject with their family. This means that the majority of UK families are failing to plan ahead, which can have a negative financial impact and lead to family disputes that are often only resolved after lengthy and expensive court proceedings.

If a person dies without making a will they will have died intestate, and their estate will be divided according to the rules of intestacy, which are arbitrary and may not reflect the wishes of the deceased. To avoid family conflicts and ensure that the intended beneficiaries receive the correct share of an estate, the testator (the person making a will) should carefully consider their legacy and seek legal advice from a law firm like Bartletts Solicitors. Find out more:

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