At some point in our lives, the time will come where you have to speak to your parents about your inheritance. Discussing your inheritance seems to be a topic that is a bit of a taboo, and many find the idea extremely uncomfortable. No one wants to think about a loved one not being around anymore but unfortunately, the time will come. Anything you can do in advance can make that loss a bit easier to cope with. That is why discussing your inheritance is something that needs to be done.
How do you as an adult approach the hard and slightly insensitive topic of inheritance and wills with your parents? Do you just come out with it? or maybe just subtly hint?
In a survey by Investec Wealth and Investment (IW&I), around 74% of adults said that they had never discussed the subject of death, Wills etc with their elderly parents, worried that they would be seen as to only wanting or thinking about the money.
Despite those fears, from a practical side its highly important to sit down with your relatives and go through the paperwork. When discussing your inheritance, it’s important to make sure that there is a Will and that it is accurate, valid and clearly states who will be administering the estate. Having knowledge of and access to documents relating to property and assets will help the executor to quickly and efficiently start the process when the time comes.
From a practical side having knowledge of a person’s assets can decrease the amount of time and money it will take to apply for probate which in turn can contribute to a simple, quick and stress-free process. Discussing your inheritance can also reduce the chances of disputes between beneficiaries and executors. Disputes can happen if a will is out of date or counted as invalid or if there is no will at all. So, it’s important to make sure that the will is updated if there was a change in circumstances since the last draft.
Preparing in advance also gives you the opportunity to manage property and assets in an estate to make the best use of the person’s inheritance tax allowance. Inheritance tax is charged at 40% on the amount that is over the IHT threshold which is currently at £325,000. Using your allowances wisely whilst alive, for example when giving gifts, can reduce the amount of inheritance tax payable upon death. If they have a substantial estate, then now is the time to put together an estate plan.