We need to talk

8th March 2011

When it comes to money, the British are notoriously tight lipped.

Take 10 people from different social backgrounds and ask them if they've ever discussed their salary with anyone other than an immediate family member and the chances are nine out of 10 would have kept schtum.

And it's the same story when it comes to discussing money with our parents.

In a survey carried out by TNS on behalf of savings provider National Savings & Investments (NS&I) a third of those questioned said they did not know whether their parents had a will, while only 7% of the 2,664 people surveyed said they had spoken to their parents about how they planned to distribute their estate. 

When asked why they had not talked to their parents about what would happen to their estate when they died, 12% of people said it was not a priority for them, and 6% said they were putting off having the conversation, but a further 9% said their parents did not like discussing the subject, while 11% said they did not like to think about their parents dying.

But avoiding what can be seen as a difficult conversations can often backfire.

Not addressing the money issue can become a problem when for example a parent needs to go into a nursing home and the family faces an issue as to whether to sell that parent's home.

Inheritance tax is another issue. If some parents have not discussed money with their children, the chances are they have not undertaken any inheritance tax planning.

On the Which? website NS&I spokesperson Tim Mack urges all families to discuss worst case scenarios

He said: 'Later life financial planning is an important issue which affects everyone. It might be a sensitive subject, but every member of a family should try and encourage the others to sit down together and talk about this openly. 

'This is a chance for parents to have honest conversations with their children about the importance of planning ahead, and provides an opportunity for parents to share advice from their own experiences on this matter'.

See also: Insurance: Gender pricing ruled illegal

Jeff Prestridge: Let the Isa season begin

To receive our free weekly email sign up here    

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *