The Rise of ‘Vulture Syndrome’
Recently the Telegraph reported that the
aptly name ‘vulture syndrome’ is to be blamed
for the increase in disputes by families over a deceased’s
A study has been carried out by leading
London law firm Seddons on 3000 adults which reveals hat one in
ten of those surveyed have been, or are currently involved in,
a dispute following a death in the last six months.
Marvin Simons, the head of Dispute Resolutions at Seddons blames
the rise in disputes on the current economic climate. He states
that “with people being so much more concerned about money
and property values being so depressed [it] is only likely to result
in an escalation of these problems”.
The study also revealed that:
Most people fall out over unequal distribution of money, personal
possessions and property.
It also emerged three in ten Britons fear they will be squeezed
out by family members following a relative's death.
A quarter admitted they were worried they would end up with nothing
and one in five are concerned they won't be treated fairly.
Around 17 per cent said they'd been promised something by a relative
but never received it and 37 per cent didn't trust people in their
close or extended family.
The survey also found 15 per cent would remain in touch with an
elderly relative just to be included in their inheritance.
One in five are waiting for their parents or grandparents inheritance
to become financially secure.
Worryingly, 70 per cent sought NO legal advice on how best to share
assets when creating a Will.
It also emerged 13 per cent were dissuaded from challenging a Will
by their family and one in 10 have mounted a legal challenge to
a friend's or relative's Will.
The survey supports our own experience and official statistics.
In 2007 229,000 grants of representation (Confirmation in Scotland)
were taken out. According to these statistics that means that there
were over 50,000 disputes in that year alone. In many of these
cases there has been an intestacy and problems could have been
avoided by people taking appropriate advice and writing a valid
Seddons suggest that as the majority of people surveyed (71%)
were uncomfortable with the so called "Vulture Syndrome" this
may explain why some individuals fail to seek legal advice when
such disputes arise.
* The above information relates specifically to England and Wales.
However the statistics for Scotland are similar to those quoted
above. Information supplied by “The Society of Willwriters” Newsletter
Willpeople can advise you on how to draft your Will to avoid some
of these problems.