Inheritance issues stoke family feuds

Julian Harris
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FOUR in 10 wealthy Britons do not trust their children to protect their inheritance, according to a report published this morning.

And the higher an individual’s wealth, the more likely they are to cut people out of their will.

Barclays Wealth has estimated that five per cent of those with disposable wealth between £1m to £2m (excluding first homes) have disinherited someone. Yet among people with over £10m in disposable wealth, a staggering 13 per cent have booted a family member or other unlucky associate off their will.

“In the case of wealth that has been inherited, tensions around entitlement may lead to disputes,” said Catherine Grum of Barclays Wealth.

“It is surprising just how many wealthy respondents report experiencing such conflict and the impact that source of wealth can have on this,” Grum added.

Over a third (37 per cent) of high net worth individuals in the UK have encountered family conflict as a result of inheritance issues, the survey also revealed.

Yet despite the problems, and a wider perception that earned wealth leads to more happiness than inherited funds, 94 per cent of respondents remain committed to passing on wealth, the study showed.

The survey follows an unrelated campaign, kicked off this month, to convince rich people to include more charity donations in their wills.

The Legacy10 campaign notes that people who leave at least 10 per cent of their estate to charity will see their inheritance tax rate slashed from 40 per cent to 36 per cent, starting from April next year.

Seven per cent of all giving in the UK comes from the top 100 family foundations, a report from Pears Foundation and Cass Business School will reveal this evening. The report will encourage “comfortably” wealthy people to start more foundations.