We need to talk about… inheritance
Recent research has revealed that the issue of inheritance is being avoided by nearly half of UK citizens.
The research, undertaken by wealth manager Brewin Dolphin in collaboration with polling agency Opinium, revealed that 47 per cent of UK adults have never had the conversation about inheritance with their relatives. Indeed, 26 per cent of those polled indicated that they did not regard inheritance as an important topic for discussion, possibly on the basis that they are not old enough to worry about it as their elder relatives are living longer lives than ever before.
Another complication is the awkwardness involved in broaching any talk of inheritance. The research showed that 36 per cent do not feel comfortable discussing their legacy; a similar percentage to the amount of UK citizens who have an existing Will. Only a significant life event such as a health scare is capable of spurring around 52 per cent of people into the discussion of succession planning.
The implications of failing to prepare for succession planning can be seen with respect to Inheritance Tax. The Office of National Statistics has indicated that the sum of £4.9 billion went to the Government in IHT receipts in the last financial year. Whilst it is understood that rising property prices-particularly in London and the South East is partly culpable- financial advisors have considered that poor planning by families is a major contributing factor towards revenue unnecessarily being lost to the state.
Our Private Client solicitor Lisa McBrearty has commented “What this research shows is the importance of succession planning and the potential cost to families if it is not considered. I would advise everyone to make a Will and ensure it is kept up to date and to have those sometimes difficult discussions with family so that the assets and money people spend their entire lives accumulating can be distributed in accordance with their wishes as far as reasonably possible.”