Is your family ready for heir warfare?

Is your family ready for heir warfare?

We all know we’re going to go one day but isn’t it best to put things in order for those left behind? Without the correct planning in place, you could be setting up a potential battle between your heirs, the only winners of which are likely to be the lawyers involved in resolving it. MVL Wills and Trusts looks at the signs that suggest things might get nasty after you’ve gone.

Sibling rivalry:

The settlement of a parent’s estate can cause old rivalries to reappear and arguments may well ensue. The appointment of an independent trustee to oversee a trust can help resolve disputes.

Disparity of wealth among beneficiaries:

A wealthy beneficiary can afford to hold on to an asset but poorer inheritors may need the asset to be sold to release cash. Avoid problems by making your wishes clear.


Having more than one executor to deal with the estate could lead to disputes. Appoint a single executor, with a reserve if they’re unable to perform. Consider a professional if your estate is complex.


Children who have been excluded from inheriting have nothing to lose from challenging the will. Your will and trusts should be reviewed and if necessary updated every five years or so. Also ensure your reasons for any exclusion are explained and kept with your will.

Late Marriage:

Marriage later in life can cause resentment amongst the family. Marriage revokes a will which could lead to assets leaving the family bloodline. Ensure the will is updated and trusts are in place to illustrate how assets are to be divided.

Gifts during lifetime:

Gifts or loans to one beneficiary during lifetime could strain relationships later with those who didn’t receive anything. Avoid problems by noting the gift in your trusts if it was considered an advance on any inheritance.

MVL Wills and Trusts Ltd of Battle, East Sussex, is a specialist in estate planning. Contact estate planning advisor Andrew Mathias for a free consultation at our offices or in the comfort of your own home. Call or email for more information on 01424 577070 or [email protected] and check out the latest information on our website at