At what age do you want your children to inherit? | Woollcombe Yonge
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Woollcombe Yonge
Jan Santillo

Jan Santillo

At what age do you want your children to inherit?

At what age do you want your children to inherit?

It’s a question I often pose to my clients when it comes to making provision for their minor children within their Will. Surprisingly, it’s not often something they have given thought to, having usually come to the meeting prepared only to discuss who gets what.

The law currently provides for children to inherit at the age of 18, or even earlier if they have married or entered into a civil partnership. Careful consideration must therefore be given to whether your children will be responsible enough to manage their finances at that age, often with regard had to the size of the estate.

Our clients come in all shapes and sizes, many with modest estates comprising of a family home and a bit of savings, and others with large businesses and property portfolios. It’s therefore no wonder that when I tell clients that their children will inherit all of this at aged 18, their faces seem to drop.

It was perhaps not such an issue many years ago when stereo typically, people would marry and have children young, buy a property and invest their hard-earned money into savings. In today’s modern society, however, people are often starting their families much later in life, often in their 30’s and even 40’s, to allow them to pursue their education or follow their passion. Many cannot afford to buy property due to the increased cost of living over the years and the amount of debt incurred through study, often resorting in them having to live with their parents for an extended period.

In my experience, the most common ages given for inheritance are 21 and 25. Parents would hope that by then, their children are old enough to make wise decisions and perhaps invest the money in a property, thinking of the longer term. It’s not unusual though for clients to suggest an age of 40 and beyond, particularly when they consider how responsible they themselves were at a young age!

Regard must also be had to potential inheritance tax liabilities where the age of inheritance is beyond 18, an issue I often discuss with my clients.

Ultimately, it’s a decision personal to you and it can only be based on what you believe is best for your children.

To seek further advice on the issues raised in this article, and to get your affairs in order, contact our experienced Wills, Trusts & Probate team on 01752 827920 or email

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