Most Wealthy Britons Don't Discuss Wills With Their Family – Report

Editorial Staff 14 February 2023

Most Wealthy Britons Don't Discuss Wills With Their Family – Report

Despite the high numbers of wealthy Britons who have not spoken about their inheritance provisions, Brown Shipley says that there are still decisions that individuals can make now to benefit loved ones.

More than half of wealthy Britons have not spoken to their family about inheritance plans, according to a recent survey commissioned by Brown Shipley.

More than two-fifths (42 per cent) have not made a will, one in 10 say they have no plans to do so, while 17 per cent said they were planning to make a will in 2023.

Nevertheless, a third of those surveyed have sought professional advice to avoid inheritance taxes.

The report found that large numbers of wealthy people are now consulting wealth management professionals, with almost a third (32 per cent) saying they have reviewed their plans to make sure money was passed on in a tax-efficient way.

The current tax-free inheritance allowance is £325,000 (£395,087), while a £175,000 nil-rate band applies to homes passed to children or grandchildren. However, gifts made in the last seven years of someone’s life are exempt.

Brown Shipley’s annual wealth report found that nearly two thirds (63 per cent) of respondents who lived in homes valued at £500k or more owned their properties outright. And one in five six-figure earners said their wealth came from running their own business.

Rebecca Williams, head of wealth planning at Brown Shipley, a Quintet Private Bank, said: “Speaking to loved ones about estate planning and your will can be uncomfortable, but it can help provide clarity and prove beneficial to long-term family dynamics.

“Those wealthy individuals who put off making a will may find their wealth isn’t passed on in the way they wish, or that their loved ones might have expected. There are decisions that individuals can make now that can have a positive impact on how loved ones will benefit – in the near term and over time.

“It’s encouraging that many people are taking action to pass their wealth on efficiently, and also consulting a professional advisor to do so. This can help ensure wider plans and timing for passing on wealth are taken in account, while also ensuring that the most tax-efficient structures are in place.”

This new service regularly covers many aspects of inheritance and wealth transfer; see this article about families needing to talk together openly about their money, their future plans and how to transfer their wealth.

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