Divorce fears stop parents giving children inheritance

Family Law|January 4th 2017

Almost a third of parents are unwilling to provide their married children with an inheritance as they are afraid it will be lost during a divorce.

In a survey of over 1,000 UK parents, 30 per cent said the possibility of their children divorcing had given them reason to be cautious about providing any kind of financial support. Twelve per cent claimed their child’s marriage had already broken down and 14 per cent had little or no confidence their child would stay married for a lifetime.

Meanwhile, 20 per cent of those surveyed were worried their children would spend their inheritance on “unnecessary extravagances” like holidays. Fourteen per cent told the researchers they thought leaving an inheritance would reduce their children’s motivation to work while 13 per cent were concerned that there would not be enough money left for their grandchildren.

One in six parents favoured giving their children smaller financial gifts instead of a large lump sum. Another 14 per cent said they will simply skip a generation and give their inheritance to their grandchildren. However, a potential problem with that plan is that when children are cut out completely they can dispute the inheritance in court.

The survey was conducted on behalf of financial firm Investec Wealth & Investment. Simon Bashorun, their Financial Planning Team Leader, said “parents may disapprove of their children’s choice of partner but can be reluctant to interfere in case they cause a family rift”.

However, the firm’s research indicates that many are “looking to protect wealth from leaving the immediate family, particularly if they’re pessimistic about the state of their children’s marriages”.

Photo by jridgewayphotography via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

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  1. spinner says:

    The way ancillary relief is currently handled in England and Wales is causing so many problems. Needs a full overhaul to bring it into the 21st century.

  2. Andrew says:

    Is it not absurd that the law allows adults to claim “reasonable financial provision” out of an estate which has been left to their own children or their siblings’ children?

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