More than two-thirds plan to divide wealth equally amongst children

A new report on inheritance planning reveals that more than two-thirds of UK adults plan to share their wealth equally among their children.

Research conducted by investment management company Charles Stanley shows that 68% of Brits intend to divide their assets evenly, with 55% indicating that the whole amount of their wealth would be divided by the number of children they had.

However, 16% said they had no intention to split their assets equally amongst their children, with a further 16% saying they were yet to decide.

Some 13% of the survey pool also said that they would consider any financial support that they had given each child in their lifetime and would divide inheritance accordingly to balance out the overall amounts. Some respondents said they wanted to take into account each child’s personal circumstances, leaving their less well-off children more inheritance. Additionally some people will base inheritance splits on how well each of their children had cared for them in later life.

Interestingly, and despite a modest percentage stating that they will not split inheritance equally amongst children, the same survey revealed that more than a third of UK adults claimed they would be upset if they received less than their siblings, in contrast to less than a quarter, who said they would not feel anything.

More than a quarter also said they would feel betrayed if they were not treated equally. Older respondents proved to be more concerned about uneven inheritance splits, with those aged between 54 and 74 saying that they would be upset if they were given less than their siblings.

The report also shows that just one in five Britons had discussed inheritance with family members, indicating that many are failing to plan openly and in advance, with 15% stating that their parents either do not have, or did not leave, a will.

Alex Price, director of financial planning at Charles Stanley commented:

Where there’s a will, there’s a war.

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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