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Why Inheritance Disputes Keep Rising - The Power of the Internet

Posted: Tuesday, 16 November 2021 @ 10:00

According to a fairly recent piece in the Telegraph family feuds over inheritances have hit an all-time high with the number of disputes over financial legacies fought in the High Court reached a record 192 last year, up from 188 in 2019.

It is 50pc higher than the 2018 total of 128.

This can be attributed to this to following:

  • the decline in the traditional nuclear family with more complex family structures, formed due to higher divorce rates and couples sharing children from multiple marriages.

  • A tendency to reward the child who helps care for their parents most in older age has also resulted in some getting larger windfalls than their siblings, which has contributed to more infighting. Half of parents today do not intend to split their assets equally between their children, polling from advice firm NetWealth found. I have found this in cases I deal with.

  • Rise in Property Prices which gives increased motivation to sue. 

Generally there is nothing stopping you from disinheriting children and giving it all away. Freedom of testamentary capacity laws in Britain allow for assets to be split however the deceased pleases, unlike in France, where it is against the law to disinherit children.

All these factors are correct and also I think the internet social media plays a role too in more disputes arising. On the plus side it gives individuals much more ability to research and be aware of their rights. On the other side of the coin the social media platforms can encourage narrow minded thinking. People can get sucked into a way of thinking which encourages them to not consider all the facts.