Could Will Disputes Grow As Parents Split Wealth Unequally?

It is thought that Will disputes could potentially grow as parents begin to leave their wealth in unequal shares to their children.

Research conducted by Charles Stanley revealed that only 55% of adults plan to split their wealth equally among their children.

It was also revealed at almost 40% of adults actively try to boost their chances of getting a bigger inheritance by visiting an elderly relative more frequently or moving to a home closer to their parents.

This in itself could lead to a rise in disputes as some children may feel hard done by, as a result of a siblings action.

Speaking about leaving potential inheritance, one in eight parents revealed that they would divide their money and assets up equally for their children upon their death, but considerations would be made regarding the amount of financial help each child had received from the parents when they were alive.

The survey also sought to discover how the children would feel if they benefited from unequal inheritance, and dependent on age the responses altered in severity.

46% of people aged between 54-74 said they’d be upset if their parents split their assets unequally. Whilst 27% said they’d feel betrayed.

However, only 22% of the millennials who were surveyed said they’d be upset and feel betrayed by their parents.

Alex Price, Director of Financial Planning at Charles Stanley said:

“Where there’s a Will, there’s a war.

“A lot of the issues that can arise could be diffused by simply being open about plans and talking with family members about the decision-making process.

“It’s not always easy to start those conversations as they can seem awkward and uncomfortable, but avoiding the subject is not the answer and could come at a price.

“Not only could families lose out financially by not planning ahead and taking advantage of legitimate inheritance tax exemptions, they could also be leaving a legacy of family conflict which could be avoided.”

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