Number of people leaving more than £150,000 doubles

family law

The number of older people who are expecting to leave more than £150,000 in their will has almost doubled.

This claim was made today by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), an economic research group based in London. In the decade leading up to 2013, the wealth among the over-80s increased by as much as 45 per cent, according to the latest IFS report. As a result, the number of such people who expect to bequeath more than £150,000 on their death rose from 24 per cent to 44 per cent.

People who are already very wealthy are going to be the ones who benefit the most from this trend, the IFS suggested. The richest half of elderly households has 90 per cent of that age group’s wealth and the top ten per cent alone has 40 per cent. So “a ‘lucky half’ of younger generations look likely to get the vast majority of inherited wealth” according to the report.

Andrew Hood is a Senior Research Economist at IFS. He said that older people “have much more wealth to leave to their children than their predecessors did, primarily as the result of higher homeownership rates and rising house prices”.

However, he explained that many young adults would “find it harder to accumulate wealth of their own than previous generations did”. This would be due to a drop in the rate of home ownership, “the dramatic decline of defined benefit pensions in the private sector and the stagnation in their incomes”.

Earlier this week, a survey of UK parents found that 14 per cent planned to skip over their children and leave their wealth directly to their grandchildren. In the same poll, as many as 30 per cent said they were unwilling to leave money to their married children as they feared it would be lost during a divorce.

Photo by Gianni Dominici via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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