Only half of UK adults would split inheritance equally among children, study finds

Just 55% of UK adults would split their wealth equally among their children, according to a new study carried out by Charles Stanley.

The wealth manager found that around one in eight people (13%) said they would split their wealth equally but would also consider financial support that they have already given them.

Reasons for not giving equal amounts included wanting to make their children financially equal as well as helping the least successful child.

Charles Stanley, whose findings were based on a study among a UK representative sample of 2,018 adults, suggested that a significant issue when it comes to leaving inheritance is “navigating the sibling minefield”, with more than a third (37%) of UK adults saying that they would be upset if they received less than their siblings. Around one in four (24%) said that they would not feel anything if this happened.

Furthermore, just one in five (21%) UK adults indicated that their family has talked openly about inheritance so that it could be planned for as a family, but 15% said that their parents either do not have or did not leave a will. However, two fifths (39%) did say they either have actively done something to try and boost their inheritance or would do so – which included regularly visiting (13%) or moving closer to their parents (7%).

“Where there’s a will, there’s a war,” commented Charles Stanley director of financial planning, Alex Price. “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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