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Avoiding Inheritance Disputes - Communication is Critical

Posted: Tuesday, 31 December 2019 @ 15:18

According to the Financial Times money — or to be more precise, what money represents — is a major cause of family disputes, conflict and relationship breakdowns. Coming together at Christmas can unfortunately provide the perfect conditions for a blistering family row over money. The pain such disputes can cause during one’s lifetime are nothing compared to the problems they can cause after your demise. Inheritance disputes heard in the High Court have risen from 227 cases in 2018 to 368 in 2019, according to a leading law firm.

As the FT says the majority of family feuds over money are settled before they reach the court’s door, these figures indicate a much larger rise in contested wills. Around 1 in 4 people would be prepared to challenge a relative’s will if they disagreed with the distribution of the estate, according to a study this year by Direct Line, the insurer. Legal experts(which I agree with) say soaring property prices and a rise in second marriages are two reasons behind the increase. 

From my experience of dealing with disputes one of the key factors which creates disputes is an absence is effective planning(when I say effective planning what I mean is anticipating who will create trouble and what to do about them) and communication. It can be that you do not communicate at all but a word here and a clear warning about what you want to happen can make all the difference and save significant time and hassle for your loved ones after you pass away.