Most of us at some point have probably wondered about our family history. Sure, you may know about your grandparents’ roots and perhaps even a generation or two before that, but where does your family line start?
What sort of riches or scandal have your ancestors seen? It’s because of this curiosity about our family histories that shows like ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ have become so popular, as have websites helping you to trace your family tree.
So could you have royal blood? According to a study from researchers at the University of California and the London School of Economics, your last name could be a good indicator of whether you are one of the top 1%.
The study looked at unique surnames among the richest – names like Atthill, Bunduck, Balfour, Bramston, Cheslyn, and Conyngham – and found that when it comes to social mobility, moving in and out of the upper classes takes centuries, not just generations.
In fact, on average upper-class families took between 300 and 450 years before their descendants dropped into the middle classes.
Fascinatingly, of the people who died between 1999 and 2012, if they had one of the 181 rare surnames of wealthy families in the mid-19th century, they were generally three times wealthier than the rest.
Whether you come from generations of wealth or are completely self-made, it is vital that you take steps early on to ensure that you pass it on to your family members as seamlessly as possible.
That may mean considering your likely inheritance tax liabilities, but you will also need to write a Will.
After all, writing a Will is the best possible tool at your disposal to ensure that your assets are divided precisely as you wish after you pass away. If you don’t, you may be exposing your family to unnecessary heartache at an already difficult time.
For help and advice on writing your Will, get in touch with us at legalmatters by calling us on 01243 216900 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.