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UK Adults: Not Talking About Inheritance

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Nearly four in five UK adults do not talk to their families about inheritance.

That’s according to research carried out by the insurance company NFU Mutual earlier this year. The research showed that more than three-quarters (79 percent) of adults haven’t had a conversation with their families about their inheritance. Not talking about inheritance with your family could lead to family disputes after you have died, the NFU have warned.

Chartered Financial Planner at NFU Mutual, Sean McCann, said: “Most adults are reluctant to talk to family about how money and other wealth will be passed on after they die, unfortunately by not talking about it bitter disputes can erupt, potentially lasting for generations.

“The conversations can be more complex when there are children from earlier marriages. Making sure that their spouse is able to maintain their lifestyle, while protecting the interests of their own children should their widow(er) remarry or die is a concern for many.

“It’s not unusual to see 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 step-children.

One option is to create a trust in your will. This can allow you to give your spouse the right to receive an income or benefit from your assets during their lifetime. On their death these assets would then pass to your children.”

On behalf of NFU Mutual, ICM interviewed a random sample of 2052 adults aged 18+ via online between 21st – 30th May 2016. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results were weighted to the profile of all adults.

McCann warns people not to forget about their pensions, saying that the value of this asset is often overlooked during the planning process for wills and inheritance. NFU Mutual has seen cases where the value of a person’s pension fund is larger than the value of the home. The new rules do make it easier to pass these on, usually free of inheritance tax.

He concludes: “Talking to family about inheritance plans can help manage expectations and avoid painful and potentially costly disputes.”

Have you discussed the plans for your estate with your family? How did you raise the subject of this tricky conversation? We’d love to know. Why not share your experiences with us? You can let us know on our Facebook page.