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Nearly a quarter of Brits have rowed with loved ones over inheritance

Nearly a quarter of Brits have admitted to arguing with loved ones over what will happen to their money after they die.

The worst city is Manchester, as 44% of Mancunians have had arguments with family regarding inheritance, followed by Glasgow (39%) and Sheffield (31%).

Meanwhile people from Bristol are the most likely to have never discussed inheritance with their parents or children (31%), followed by those in Liverpool (30%) and Birmingham (28%).

Research by Tower Street Finance revealed that almost three-quarters of Brits (72%) expect to leave some sort of inheritance to loved ones, but many have not discussed this yet (66%) and consider it a very awkward topic.

The probate lending experts polled 2,000 UK adults who are, or expect to be, a beneficiary of a will to find out how people feel about this topic and if they know what they may pocket after their parents’ deaths.

Two-thirds of parents quizzed (64%) say they plan to leave assets to their children specifically.

But the majority of Brits (66%) have not discussed inheritance in any detail and a quarter (24%) feel that inheritance is THE most awkward conversation they could have.

Men (47%) are more likely to find it an uncomfortable conversation than women (40%).

Although politics is often seen as a divisive topic, more than a third of people (38%) said they would far rather discuss this than inheritance issues.

This lack of openness is leaving four in ten (41%) feeling clueless about what they will get when their parents pass away.

On average, people expect to inherit assets worth £159,000 from each parent. However, the average financial legacy was actually £221,000 in 2022.

Experts warn that failing to plan for and talk about it in advance can lead to heated disputes down the line and also potentially unexpected bills for beneficiaries.

Charlotte Cox, a 33-year-old marketing director from North Yorkshire, said she’s concerned about how the topic will affect the relationship with her sister when the time comes.

Charlotte said: “My parents have brought up the topic of inheritance with me and my sister a couple of times, but it’s never been discussed in any detail.

“It always feels so awkward and when they bring it up I just go quiet.

“I don’t expect anything from them. My partner and I are doing fairly well and are self-sufficient.

“I just want my parents to have a good quality of life in their retirement and not worry about us.

“But my sister’s financial situation is different and I know there’s a level of expectation with her.

“They still give her money from time to time, and my dad has said they will ‘make sure it all evens out in the inheritance’ but that just makes me feel even more uncomfortable.

“I always reply with ‘honestly, don’t worry about it’, but he seems pretty set on it all being fair.

“I worry that down the line my sister will be really upset if I’m left more than her, as she’s already had some money in advance.

“I’d hate for it to cause issues but bringing it up now just feels so depressing.

“I also don’t want to upset my parents by going against their wishes. The whole topic just feels like a complete minefield.”

Carla Morris, a financial planner at wealth manager RBC Brewin Dolphin, said that having ‘honest’ conversations can help people avoid arguments in the future.

Carla said: “Open communication is a very important way of avoiding conflict.

“An honest series of conversations could help loved ones understand decisions and avoid arguments further down the line.

“The hardest part of communicating your plans is simply starting the conversation.

“A useful place to start is by writing down your values and sharing these thoughts with your children.

“Go through your own experience with money and the factors that led to your wealth, such as disciplined spending and investment decisions.

“Discussing where the money came from can help your successors understand that their wealth and assets didn’t happen just by chance, and that they’re being entrusted with an opportunity and should manage it responsibly.

“If one child is likely to inherit more than the others, it’s imperative you discuss this early on.

“Often, family discord arises when children discover they’ll be receiving unequal shares after one’s passing, generally this can be avoided by communicating beforehand.”

Co-Founder and Business Development Director at Tower Street Finance, Dicky Davies, said: “Our research shows that inheritance can be a very sensitive topic that a lot of people struggle to bring up.

“But with most people planning to leave money or assets to loved ones after they’ve passed, but fewer than half (48%) having a written will in place, being open about your specific wishes is especially important.

“With the increase in blended families, putting a will in place is even more important if you have children from previous relationships that you want to be treated differently.

“What’s more, avoiding this topic and not putting plans in place in advance could leave beneficiaries with a heftier IHT [inheritance tax] bill.

“We know that the hardest part for many is to initiate a conversation, but it’s worth the effort.

Inheritance disputes can be upsetting and are time-consuming. If you do find yourself in this situation though, we can help you cover legal costs through our inheritance dispute funding product.”

More information about the study can be found at:

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