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Forty-four per cent of Brits haven’t discussed financial arrangements with parents or partners in the event of their passing, says Ampla Finance

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A national survey commissioned by legal financing company Ampla Finance and carried out by YouGov has revealed that almost half (44 per cent) of British adults haven’t tackled the difficult conversation with parents or guardians or partners around financial arrangements following their death. 

The survey of 2,165 British adults, analysed in Ampla Finance’s report ‘Wills and Financial Planning – it’s time to talk’, highlights a widespread lack of awareness around family finances and the probate process that stands worryingly at odds with the level of detail required to apply for probate. The research also highlighted that for 57 per cent of Brits, an inheritance was a key financial pillar rather than a windfall.  

The survey examined respondents’ understanding of probate, their experiences – or lack of – in discussing the financial aspects involved with parents and guardians, and the use to which they would put an inheritance. Key findings included: 

  • Dependants know little about the status of their parents’ or partners finances: Almost half of Brits who have a parent/guardian or partner (44 per cent) had not discussed financial arrangements in depth following a death with parents or partners, and only 11 per cent with a parent/guardian knew all the details of their parents ‘wider finances’ such as loans 
  • Brits are hoping it will all just work out: Only 11 per cent of Brits who have a parent/guardian admit they ‘have enough understanding’ about the probate process to complete it, but only 14 per cent planned to appoint a solicitor to undertake the process 
  • Inheritance used to balance the books and invest for the future: Consumers intend to save, not splurge, inheritance earnings, with 57 per cent of those asked what they would use an inheritance received in the next two years for, likely to use it to bolster essential savings, pay bills, clear personal debt or help fund a house deposit 
  • The pandemic hasn’t changed attitudes towards wills and financial planning: Perhaps surprisingly, only 12 per cent of respondents were encouraged to review their will or funeral arrangements as a result of the Covid-19 crisis  

Steve Gauke, Head of Partnerships at Ampla Finance, comments: “The UK probate system is notoriously complicated and increasingly slow-moving, and the lack of knowledge around its workings evidenced in this whitepaper shows that this can catch many people out. Unforeseen delays can badly impact a family’s financial planning, so we need greater education around probate and to encourage a frank conversation on family finances, even though we know it’s difficult.” 

Louise Hall, Commercial Director at Ampla Finance, adds: “We are pleased to have started a productive conversation on what has long been perceived as a taboo topic in the UK, and underscored the importance of initiating these sensitive discussions to save further stress at an already testing time for families. Our hope is that this report goes some way toward encouraging individuals to tackle the hard conversations, ahead of the difficult situation where probate is necessary.” 

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