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Half of UK adults expect an inheritance – but some are in for a shock

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03/10/2018
Where there isn't a will, there isn't a way to ensure your estate will be divided according to your wishes
Half of UK adults expect an inheritance – but some are in for a shock

More than half of Brits are expecting an inheritance from someone they know (51%), but many will be disappointed, warned Co-op Legal Services.

The will provider revealed a worrying lack of people who have a valid will in place.

It found that more than a quarter of people (26%) assume they’ll inherit something as the next of kin, despite not having any guarantees.

In fact, only one in 10 (12%) have actually seen their loved one’s will and a third, (33%) assume they’ll receive an inheritance, as they have been told in conversation that they are a beneficiary.

Already spent it

Despite not having any assurances, many people have already made plans for their inheritance, and 4% have already spent it.

More than a quarter would put it into a savings account, while many said they would pay off their mortgage, buy their first home, or make home improvements.

However, in the UK, 45% of people don’t have a will, meaning the rules of intestacy apply. This means that if a person dies with no living family members entitled to inherit the estate, it will be distributed according to the Rules of Intestacy, which could mean that the Crown will inherit everything.

Unmarried partners, friends, charities, carers, or relations by marriage who may have benefitted could miss out if there’s no valid will in place.

James Antoniou, head of wills at Co-op Legal Services explains: “Many people wrongly think that their loved ones will automatically inherit their assets when they die – but if a person dies intestate (without a Will) they lose control over what happens to their estate.

“This could mean that their final wishes about who receives their savings, assets, property and investments may not take effect leaving disappointed loved ones behind.”

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