Research shows assets split unequally between children

New research has shown that more than a quarter of parents do not intend to split their assets equally between their children. 

A poll conducted by Will Aid identified that that only 73% of parents would share their inheritance equally. 1 in 10 would give each of their children a different amount and 1 in 20 would leave their children with nothing. 12% are undecided.

The split is further divided amongst blended families where the poll revealed that 48% of parents with step-children would split their assets equally between their step and biological children; 23% would leave ore to their biological children, with just under 1 in 5 saying they would leave their assets to their biological children only.

Practitioners are also seeing a rise in the number of parents who are using their hard-earned money to enjoy their retirement. The “Ski-Set” – Spending the Kids Inheritance – trend is is increasingly popular as life expectancies get longer and people are more active in later life.

It has become popular amongst celebrities to not leave their estates and assets wholly to their children, in part to prevent them from becoming wholly dependent on their inherited wealth.

Actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis has recently said they would leave nothing to their children; Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan have said they will leave 99% of their Facebook shares to “advancing human potential and promoting equality for all children in the next generation.”

Closer to home noted philanthropist John Caudwell who founded Phones 4 U and later the charity Caudwell Children has said he will not leave his children his fortune. Caudwell’s daughter, Libby Caudwell said

“Dad sensed early on that great wealth is not psychologically beneficial to someone who had not earned it. He made it clear early that he was not amassing wealth for his children to fritter but in order to gather the resources and power to redress some of the great injustices of the world.”

Commenting on the research Peter de Vena Franks, Will Aid Campaign Director, said:

“Regardless of the amount of money someone leaves behind after their death, a Will is the best way to ensure your assets are distributed in accordance with your personal wishes. This means that family and loved ones are looked after, and other beneficiaries including charities can benefit from the individual’s legacy.”

“Will Aid is a brilliant way to tick writing your Will off your to-do-list, whilst also knowing you are helping your loved ones and supporting charity. We would also suggest that having a conversation with your family so they understand your future intentions and know where your Will is stored, is usually a good thing to do.”

For more information about Will Aid Month in November 2023, visit

Read more stories

Join over 6,000 wills and probate practitioners – Check back daily for all the latest news, views, insights and best practice and sign up to our e-newsletter to receive our weekly round up every Friday morning. 

You’ll receive the latest updates, analysis, and best practice straight to your inbox.