Inheritance disputes between siblings

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Concerned about It’s no secret that inheritance disputes between siblings can often be emotional, stressful, and upsetting for all involved parties.

To help prevent family conflict and ongoing arguments following the death of a loved one, it’s crucial that these disputes are handled correctly.

Fortunately, the expert team of inheritance dispute solicitors at Freeman Jones Solicitors are here to explain how inheritance is often split between siblings in the UK as well as the best way to resolve escalating sibling disputes over inheritance.

Is inheritance split between siblings?

Unless explicitly stated in the deceased’s will that their money, belongings, or property is to be inherited by just one or only some of their children, then it’s common for individuals to want to equally split inheritance between their children.

However, they’re under no legal obligation to leave an inheritance (of any size or share) to any of their family members because we have something called ‘complete testamentary freedom’ in the UK.

This means we have total freedom to disinherit family members and leave our estate to anyone we desire, as long as these wishes are clearly stipulated in a valid will. If, on the other hand, the deceased passes without a valid will, then the rules of intestacy will apply.

These rules can help to prevent unequal inheritance between siblings in the UK as the laws for intestate individuals clearly state that the estate should be divided equally between all the deceased’s children.

How do you divide inherited property between siblings UK?

According to the rules of intestacy, if the deceased has no surviving spouse or civil partner, then their children will inherit the whole of their estate (including property) and this should be split equally between them.

In cases where there is a surviving spouse or civil partner, however, children will only receive an inheritance if the estate is valued at more than £322,000. Each child will inherit an equal share of the value of the estate above £322,000.

Under the rules of intestacy, adopted children and adopted stepchildren also have the right to inherit.

Should siblings receive the same inheritance?

While it’s often easier for siblings to receive the same inheritance, there are no laws preventing you from leaving one sibling out of the will or requesting an unequal inheritance between siblings in the UK.

If the histories and circumstances of your children are significantly different, then you may find it fairer to leave more inheritance to one child than the other. Alternatively, you may decide upon an unequal inheritance share between children due to legal or tax reasons.

Ultimately, to help avoid inheritance disputes between siblings (that could ruin relationships and cost thousands of pounds to resolve), it’s often wiser to let them know your last wishes and the reasons you’ve left them an unequal share while you’re still around.

How to handle inheritance disputes between siblings

In some cases, small inheritance disputes between siblings can be dealt with by simply discussing the issue. However, if inheritance disputes between siblings are starting to escalate and cause a rift in your family, it’s vital that you seek professional legal advice as soon as possible.

This is because experienced inheritance dispute solicitors are well-trained in both mediation and negotiation, so they can help siblings to come to an amicable agreement without causing damage to their relationships.

The inheritance dispute solicitors at Freeman Jones Solicitors will take the time to understand the dispute and explain all your options.

Seeking help with inheritance disputes between siblings in the UK?

If sibling disputes over inheritance are pulling your family apart, please don’t wait to contact the team of experienced inheritance dispute solicitors at Freeman Jones Solicitors today.

When it comes to resolving inheritance disputes, our knowledgeable team have extensive experience handling disputes between beneficiaries and executors as well as proprietary and promissory estoppel claims.

Well-versed in everything from inheritance dispute mediation and negotiation to court proceedings, our experienced team can use a variety of methods to help siblings come to an amicable agreement.

To find out more about how inheritance disputes between siblings are typically settled in the UK or to learn more about our services, please don’t hesitate to contact our professional team today.

You can book your free, 20-minute, no-obligation consultation by either calling us on 01244 506 444 or sending your enquiry via email to

Alternatively, you can always pay us an in-person visit as we’ve opened offices across the North West of the UK including locations like Chester, Liverpool, Warrington, and Wrexham. We hope to hear from you soon.

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Author Colin Freeman View Profile
Colin qualified as a solicitor in 1998. He specialises predominantly in family law, litigation / dispute resolution, wills, probate and settlement agreements and has notable cases reported in the Court of Appeal and High Court.
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