More than 28 per cent of retired people do not plan to leave their assets to immediate family members, according to a new survey.
In the poll, by financial firm Responsible Life, respondents cited a number of reasons for not wanting to leave legacies to family members in their wills. These included a desire to reward supportive friends and neighbours and lingering estrangement from their relatives. Some said they preferred adult children to be self-reliant and they wanted their assets to help charities instead – with animal charities an especially popular choice.
However, the firm noted a recent upsurge in claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. This allows relatives to dispute their exclusion from a will in some circumstances, on the grounds that it did not make “reasonable financial provision” for them.
Solicitors can help cut the chance of such divisive and potentially expensive litigation by including a clear statement of the reasons for excluding relatives in the will or by leaving family members a “nominal” legacy.
We regularly advise our clients to review their Will on significant life events such as divorce or separation. Whilst we do not advise in this area, we can guide and assist you to ensure this issue is raised and you are then able to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place. Please contact our Partners Tricia, Gail, Simon, Jeremy or Adam on 01223 443333.