Over a quarter (28%) of pensioners plan to leave their estate to beneficiaries other than close family members.

Those young people who are increasingly reliant on inheritance and gifts to buy property may well be disappointed in this revelation. Interestingly, in separate surveys, a quarter of people said they would challenge a relative’s Will if they were unhappy with its contents.

There are multiple reasons why retirees shun family beneficiaries. One of the most common is estrangement. However, the older generation also wishes to bequeath friends and neighbours who have supported them in the later stages of their life rather than immediate family who live far away.

Leaving a legacy or gift to charities is becoming more popular too; especially animal charities. Awareness of Legacy giving and the associated inheritance tax benefits of charitable giving is now being better understood and changing misapprehensions of legacy giving.

Another reason why senior Will-makers do not bequeath their descendants is that donors want their younger relatives to ‘make their own way’ in life rather than relying on inheritance from their parents who have worked tirelessly all their lives to enjoy the fruits of their labour later in life.

Due to our damning social care system, many retirees are very worried about how they will fund their care costs later in life. Almost a quarter of homeowners are planning to use the equity in their homes to pay for care fees in old age.

However, if you’re planning to leave out family beneficiaries in favour of charities or third parties, you need to think about whether those disgruntled family members could bring a successful claim under the Inheritance Act (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

Contact Barnet Wills to discuss our Will Clarity Package and protect your estate against any possible challenge.