A national saving and investment survey has shown only 7% of people have spoken to their parents about inheritance. One of the most important parts of planning to leave an inheritance is to talk about it. This is obviously not an easy topic and it may be a good idea to set aside some specific family time to have this discussion. This could help avoid any family disputes before and after you are gone.
The most efficient way to prepare for this discussion is planning. Take some time to think about your priorities for your money after you are gone. This could include things like making sure your partner or spouse is provided for, donating to a charity that is important to you, caring for a relative that is ill or has a disability, or making sure your grandchildren have the best possible opportunity of a good education. It may help to write down these priorities so that you have a basic draft of the will you want to leave. This will help a discussion with your family go more smoothly than if you don’t have a clear idea of what you are looking to achieve.
Remember that your inheritance wishes are solely your decision and no one else can tell you what to put in your will. During the meeting with your family, try to outline what you want to achieve and your reasons, rather than the exact sums involved. This will help your family understand your specific goals and could reduce any potential disagreement. They may also have some relevant input into the management of your estate and it is worth taking on board their expectations and opinions with regard to your assets and possessions.
You can also reassure them that nothing is set in stone as many things could happen between this discussion and the end of your life, and you can amend your will to reflect this. This conversation can give you the foundation to adequately prepare your will knowing you have taken your loved ones’ wishes and expectations on board.
As part of your inheritance planning, ensure you talk to your financial advisor about Inheritance Tax Mitigation. Mitigation ensures you have done everything you can legally to pay the minimum amount of tax. There are a number of ways of reducing tax on your inheritance which include making a gift to your partner or giving money to your family and friends. There are also options like trusts or leaving money to charity which can reduce your overall inheritance tax bill.
But still the most important aspect of this difficult subject is to a have an honest, open dialogue with the people that are important to you to help prepare them as best you can for the future after you are gone.