Almost half of us in UK have never discussed inheritance with our families, and a quarter don’t think it’s even a priority.
The global pandemic of the last 18 months has highlighted more than ever the importance of creating a Will, and that there was no such thing as “too early”. During the Pandemic, many people died intestate, without a Will, and the result was creating complications and stress for their families.
I’ve had several clients who find it difficult to have the conversation because they’ve already given some of their children money and don’t know how to specify they should get less and, therefore, avoid talking about it. However, such conversations are important to have.
1 in 5 families of someone who died intestate had bust-ups so severe that family members no longer talk to one another.
It’s time to get comfortable talking to your loved ones about death. Financial conversations could bring you closer to them.
You may be worried that your parents will think you’re interfering or counting their money. You may also feel it’s scary that they may not be around.
It’s important to be up front with your concerns. You could start by asking simple questions like “Do you have a Will?” or “Do you use a financial advisor?”
Sometimes it may be your own fear about these matters more than theirs.
Maybe it’s not your parents but your children who need assurance that you’ve made plans. If there are trusts, help your children understand why they are in place. If you have a blended family then an estate planning discussion will help avoid any potential future conflict. These are usually the cases that end up in court with the lawyers taking all the money.
Estate planning is an extremely emotional subject, as people generally don’t like talking about money or death. However, many of the clients I’ve spoken to would like to talk about it but haven’t found the right time – and some people just don’t know where to start.’
At Barnet Wills, we always advise clients to think about their future planning on behalf of both themselves and their families. This covers more than just writing a Will and includes how best to minimise inheritance tax (IHT) and other potential threats to your money.