It’s good to talk: Avoiding inheritance disputes

The importance of good family communications in avoiding inheritance disputes.

A survey carried out by National Savings and Investments has revealed that there is widespread ignorance within families about future inheritance plans.

The survey found that over one third of the population were in the dark about how their parents intended to distribute their estate. Many did not even know whether they had made a Will.

Inheritance disputes frequently arise where a family has not discussed what is to happen in the event of death. At Slee Blackwell Solicitors we always advise clients to discuss inheritance issues freely and openly whilst everyone is still alive, to reduce the prospect of a costly dispute arising at a later date.

According to the survey only 7% of adult children have spoken to their parents about inheritance. This figure is in sharp contrast to the 25% of the population who expect to receive a legacy in due course.

These levels of expectation are a fertile breeding ground for contested will claims and disputed inheritance cases, especially where communication between family members is poor.

It is believed that the major obstacle to families discussing inheritance issues is embarrassment. However, in our experience a great deal of upset and discord can arise when families are not open about these issues. If approached sensitively inheritance planning need not cause embarrassment. It also has to be remembered that the consequences of ignoring inheritance planning can be considerably more damaging to family harmony and finances in the long run than any short lived period of embarrassment.

Our solicitors at Slee Blackwell not only represent clients contesting a will and in contested probate, we also assist families in avoiding an inheritance dispute arising in the first place. It is always more economical for disputes to be avoided at the outset by structured and open inheritance planning than for families to bottle up their feelings until the day comes when it is too late for discussions to take place.

If your family would benefit from our sensitive, proactive and professional inheritance planning advice service then call us now for further details of how we can help.