5 ways to avoid an inheritance claim after your death

Worried about your heirs arguing over what happens after your death? From what will happen at your funeral, to who inherits what, family fall-outs following a death are all too common. So, what can you do to keep arguments to a minimum and avoid an inheritance claim? There are several things you can do to lessen the likelihood that your family will argue with one another after your death:

  • Talk to your family. Think talking about death is awkward? You’re not alone, millions of Britons agree with you. It may not be a comfortable conversation, but by discussing your Will and funeral plans with your family, then your wishes will not come as a surprise. You can explain your choices and also give your loved ones the opportunity to air their own views or concerns.
  • Make sure your Will is up to date. We recommend that you update your Will every 5 years, or sooner if a major life event occurs, such as a birth, marriage, family death, property purchase or retirement. If your Will is up to date then this reduces the chance of complications arising where it may not accurately reflect your wishes. For example, you may have purchased a house with a new partner, but wish to leave your share to your children, this might not happen automatically, so advice should be sought.
  • Destroy any old Wills. Although only your most recent Will is valid, it is sensible to destroy previous versions to eliminate any confusion or doubt.
  • Choose your executors wisely. Do you want to appoint each of your children to be executors? It’s a common choice, and many parents believe this is the fairest thing to do, but if your children don’t get along then you could be asking for trouble. A good inheritance planning solicitor will be able to give you some advice on who might be an appropriate executor of your estate.
  • Ensure the Will that you draft is valid. You need to ensure that you draft your Will freely, and that no one has influenced your decisions. Make sure witnesses are present, and seek the advice of a qualified solicitor to help you write your Will. Furthermore, a homemade Will may not accurately reflect your wishes, or give proper consideration to tax issues.

Talk to us about an inheritance claim

If you would like any advice on an inheritance claim within your family, protecting your wishes or resolving Wills, Inheritance, Trusts & Probate Disputes then do not hesitate to get in touch with our dedicated inheritance disputes team.