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The Daily Telegraph quotes Tamasin Perkins on common issues arising in succession disputes

According to some sources, feuds over inheritance may soon become more common in the world’s richest families. The 'baby boomer' generation, who are as old as 77, have started passing down the largest amount of wealth in history – estimated to reach £67tn in the US alone by 2045.

Meanwhile, Swiss bank UBS has claimed that a greater number of new billionaires entered the club through inheritance in 2023 which, it could be argued, underlines how this transfer of wealth is intensifying.

Some 1,000 billionaires are expected to pass down around £4.2 trillion over the next two decades, according to UBS. This also brings with it the possibility of an increase in the number of private wealth and inheritance disputes.

Tamasin Perkins, Partner in our Dispute Resolution team specialising in private wealth disputes, comments on this for The Daily Telegraph. She outlines some of the most common issues cropping up in succession disputes, particularlyinvolving wealthy individuals.

Tamasin first explains that there can often be disputes about how you divide up someone’s ashes. Additionally, she often sees clients “who have worked in the family business on a promise and then on the person’s death find out that in fact, they’ve been cut out of the will or not getting what they expected to get.” The parent did not necessarily set out to deceive them but rather tried to “take the path of least resistance,” she says. 

“It is sometimes easier to tell people what they want to hear than have a difficult conversation.”

Female heirs who feel “overlooked or have to fight to be heard” are also increasingly starting to sue if they feel short-changed, Tamasin says. 

She explains that when inheritance and succession erupt into years of litigation, they tend to bring decades of resentment and hard feelings to the surface. 

“A lot of the time people are clashing about money but also they are clashing about emotions and who did the father love most".

Read the full piece in The Daily Telegraph here (subscription required).

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