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The average age for receiving an inheritance is 47.

New research by equity release specialist Key has found that more than 11.6 million people in the UK have received an inheritance in the past decade.

It means that 22% of adults have received an inheritance. For those aged between 65 and 74, the proportion rises to 29%.

Parents are leaving the most considerable inheritance, averaging £65,500. Around 11% of people have received an inheritance from their parents in the past decade.

Grandparents, on average, left their grandchildren an inheritance of £24,200 in the past ten years. The proportion of people receiving an inheritance from grandparents was 4%.

Looking at how inheritance is spent, around a third of people invest or save some or all of the cash.

Property tends to be the focus of inheritance proceeds, with around 1.1 million people using the money to buy a first home and 1.7 million people paying off their mortgage.

9% of people put some or all of their inheritance into a pension.

According to data from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), inheritance tax receipts reached £5.4 billion in the 2020/21 tax year, which is slightly higher than a year earlier.

Will Hale, CEO at Key, said:

“Intergenerational wealth transfer is a major issue for society as a whole and for the financial services industry and the scale of inheritance shows why that is the case. More than 11.6 million people have benefited from inheritance pay-outs in the past 10 years and the average amounts received can be substantial and potentially life-changing – especially if residential property is involved.

“The idea of inheritance arguably works best when the person receives the support at a time in their life when it can do the most good for their long-term financial security. However, with the average age of inheritance sitting at 47 years old – when people are more likely to have built up assets – we are seeing more conversations happening about providing people with a ‘pre-inheritance’.

“Not only do people benefit from the support when they need it but their older relative is able to enjoy seeing the difference that it has made to their lives. However, getting good financial advice is important to ensure than not only do they not fall foul of inheritance tax regulations but there is sufficient assets to cover potential care costs in older age.”

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