The subject of inheritance has been in the news a fair bit recently, with some parents choosing to spend their savings rather than pass them down to their children or grandchildren. With 35% of Britons relying on an inheritance to provide them with a stable financial future, and 20% stating that they require an inheritance to retire comfortably, there is the potential for an increasing number of complications and disputes to arise.
A recent article published by the Telegraph has discussed a rise in the number of people disputing their parents’ Wills and attempting to defraud elderly relatives out of their money. Research has shown that since 2006, there has been a 700% increase in the number of Will disputes. Similarly, there has been an increase in the amount of relative upon relative fraud, rising by 300% in a year, to £2.1 million in the first half of this year – an increase of over half a million pounds compared to the same period from last year. Many of these individuals are aged over 45 and their victims are elderly parents.
Christine Green, senior partner for Veale Wasbrough Vizards, commented: "We are in a more litigious society now [...] People are more willing to challenge things more readily and perhaps there is a greater sense of entitlement – that they are entitled to something from the older generation."
However, with the older generation adopting a change in attitude and preferring to spend their money rather than leaving it to their family members, it appears that those expecting large inheritances could be in for a shock.
Are you shocked by the increase in the number of fraud causes?