Solicitor, Lee Dawkins, who specialises in inheritance disputes and contested wills, looks at the benefits of inheritance planning and how to avoid an inheritance dispute.
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 when a key member passes away. 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 inheritance disputes, especially where communication between family members is poor.
It is believed that the major obstacle to families discussing inheritance issues is embarrassment and a fear of upsetting family members. However, in our experience a much greater level of upset and discord can arise when families are not open about these issues. If approached sensitively inheritance planning need not cause embarrassment or bitterness. 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 who are already involved in a dispute, we also advise families on how to avoid 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 on 0333 888 0404 for further details of how we can help.