Multimillionaires are more likely to cut kids from will

Johnny Green/PA

If we ever needed evidence that money causes friction, it comes from new research that found multimillionaires are more likely to cut relatives out of their will.

A report found that 5% of people worth between £1mi and £2m had disinherited relatives, and the figure rises to 13% among those with assets of more than £10m.

The poll by Barclays Wealth found that money was often a source of tension in families, with 37% of the well-off individuals questioned saying that they had experienced "conflict" with loved ones as a result of their wealth.

But interestingly, rather than cutting relatives from wills out of malice, many made the decision in an attempt to stop them frittering away their hard-earned fortunes. Four out of 10 questioned said they "do not trust their children and stepchildren to protect their inheritance".

Overall, 6% of high net worth individuals in Britain said they did not intend to pass on their wealth, with many believing that earning money is more likely to lead to happiness than inheriting it.

The study found wealthy individuals in other parts of the world, such as the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, were far more trusting of their offspring. Experts believe this could be a result of Britain's higher rate of relationship break-up and remarriage.

Complex relationships
The Barclays Wealth, published today, states: "As second and third marriages become more common, this is thought to lead to more complex relationships with both children and stepchildren in relation to wealth and inheritance planning."

Catherine Grum, Director, Wealth Advisory, Barclays Wealth, said: "In the case of wealth that has been inherited, tensions around entitlement may lead to disputes.

"However, it is surprising just how many wealthy respondents report experiencing such conflict and the impact that source of wealth can have on this, with wealthier respondents more likely to have encountered such conflict."

Wealth can ruin
Several well-known figures in Britain have spoken out about not leaving their fortune to their children because they want them to learn about making a living.

Anita Roddick, (pictured) the founder of the Body Shop, once said it was "obscene" to leave money to family and bequeathed her £51m fortune to charity rather than her two daughters. TV chef Nigella Lawsson declared in 2008: "I am determined that my children should have no financial security. It ruins people not having to earn money."
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