Navigating the Thorny Issues of Inheritance

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Embley

Unlike most modern financial transactions, inheritance and succession planning are often opaque areas: it can be a difficult topic of discussion and many are unwilling to speak openly about what they will leave behind - not to mention what they expect to receive from their loved ones.

Perhaps it is this lack of openness and transparency which leads to so many families, and especially family businesses, expecting issues and conflict arising from the subject of inheritance. Research conducted by the wealth and investment management division of Barclays last year, found that 41% of high net worth individuals in the Midlands have experienced family conflict arising from wealth and inheritance issues.

Through our work and that of our dedicated Wealth Advisory team - which explains and advises around the various inheritance options - we help local clients, their families and their tax advisers to try and resolve these issues. Succession planning is a technically complex, emotional process and whilst providing for surviving relatives is an important gift, it doesn't make it any less challenging.

First and foremost, there are many factors that individuals take into account when considering succession planning. These range from family ex-x pectations to the sacrifices and contributions that family members have made, and even with whom they have had bet-t ter relationships.

In addition to these considerations, in our experience with local wealthy clients we know that there is also an element of apprehension about actually transferring - as well as dividing - their wealth. …