Some parents admit favouring particular offspring over other children in will

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One in 10 parents of grown up children admit they have favoured one of their offspring over another in their will, research has found.

Some 10% of parents with children aged over 16 years old, who had made a will, said they had favoured a particular child, according to law firm Slater and Gordon.

Common reasons for parents not intending to split their assets equally between children were that they had a closer bond with one child, that a particular child needed their financial help more, that they did not think one of their children deserved the money or that they did not like or trust a particular child's partner.

Some said a family feud was behind their decision, while others wanted to bypass their children in favour of their grandchildren.

Two-fifths (43%) of parents who do not intend to give their children an equal share of their inheritance said the child they intend to give the most wealth to is the most responsible with money. One in six (15%) fear the children who stand to inherit less of their cash will blow the money on unwise purchases.

In one in 20 (5%) cases, children had been entirely cut out of the will, with no conversation having taken place about this beforehand - potentially creating a dispute further down the line.

Some 18% of parents either have or intend to favour their biological relatives over step children.

James Beresford - head of wills, trust, tax and probate at Slater and Gordon - said: "While having such conversations can take courage, families that speak freely about these delicate issues can avoid problems and surprises down the line, particularly if assets are not being split equally between children.

"Explaining the reasoning behind your decision could make it easier for children to accept. Don't assume it's obvious why you have left something to one child and not the other."

Some 2,000 parents took part in the survey.