Young people should not assume they have a legal right to inherit following the death of older family members, Thursfields Solicitors has commented.

The advice comes after a recent survey found that one in seven young adults expect that they will inherit money from older family members before the age of 35, with many of those surveyed thinking they are likely to inherit as much as £130,000.

The survey by wealth manager Charles Stanley highlighted how some millennials had unrealistic expectations of inheritance and hoped it may unlock the door to buying a first home.

Katherine Ellis, a Senior Associate Solicitor in Thursfields’ Birmingham office, commented on the report’s findings, noting that in reality inheritance ages were typically between 55 and 64, and that the median average amount handed down was only £11,000.

Katherine, whose expertise includes dealing with complex probate issues and contested legacy disputes, said: “These results appear to indicate an underlying assumption amongst young adults that they will be automatically entitled to inherit from older family members.

This, of course, is not necessarily the case, particularly given that the general legal position is that a person is entitled to gift their estate to whomever they choose.

But there are legal exceptions which can arise if a person fails to adequately provide for certain family members, such as children – and this can also include adult children.”

Katherine added: “It’s important to note that this is not an automatic entitlement, and for those who feel they have not received sufficient financial provision from an estate it is advisable that they seek expert legal advice swiftly, as there are strict timeframes when active steps must be taken.”

Anyone wanting to discuss a probate or legacy matter can contact Katherine Ellis at kellis@thursfields.co.uk and 0121 647 5419.

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