1 in 3 expects to inherit, survey finds

One in three UK adults expects that they or their partner will inherit money or property of some value, according to new research.

The results of a survey of 2,005 adults carried out by comparison site www.gocompare.com also found that two-fifths (41per cent) of respondents expected their family to inherit more than £50,000 and a quarter more than £100,000.

The research, published on 30 September, also found that one in ten (13 per cent) would rather their parents or in-laws spend their money on themselves than pass it on.

But nearly one in ten (eight per cent) said they faced financial trouble without future inheritance money while more than four in ten (43 per cent) said that inheriting money would be helpful but not necessary.

Matt Sanders, money spokesperson for Gocompare.com, said: “For most of us, inheriting money from our parents or grandparents is something we’d rather not think about, due to the circumstances surrounding it. But for some it seems the amount that they may inherit isn’t just an active consideration, it’s a retirement plan.”

The survey findings underline the importance of individuals of any age, and particularly those with families, taking steps to put their financial houses in order and discussing with children or grandchildren how they intend to structure their wills.

Tim Steele, a partner in Palmers’ Wills, Trusts and Probate department, said: “While the survey clearly shows that many people expect to receive an inheritance, it is still the case that people only find out what they have inherited when their parent is no longer around to explain why a will has been drawn up in a particular way.

“Even though there may have been very good reasons why this is the case, it can be very distressing for the person who feels they have been excluded – or not loved as much as other children – and can lead to time-consuming and costly disputes over the will and the breakdown of relationships with siblings.

“Even worse, parents may be put off from making a will because they simply can’t face making the difficult decisions it might involve, leaving their estate to be divided in line with intestacy laws, which means they have no say in who inherits what and the outcome might be not be what they would have wished for the beneficiaries.

“As experienced estate planning practitioners, we can listen sensitively to the issues involved, and contribute expert advice, to help families avoid unnecessary conflict and unhappiness at a later date. For more information, please contact our Wills, Trusts and Probate team.”