The majority of over-45s don’t know how much inheritance they will leave their loved ones and are struggling to get to grips with the demands of financial planning.

In particular, they are failing to factor in the possible costs of inheritance tax and funding later life.

According to a survey produced by Canada Life, some 63 per cent of people aged 45 and over say they have not told their beneficiaries how much inheritance they plan to leave them.  

The age group is also worried that paying for their retirement is likely to consume all their funds, with almost 40 per cent saying they fear they will neither have enough to sustain them in retirement nor anything left to pass on to their family.

According to the research there is a “clear disconnect” for the over-45s between wanting to pass something on to their loved ones and the realistic demands of their own retirement.

Neil Jones, wealth management and tax specialist at Canada Life, said:  “It seems that many are losing the battle, acknowledging they don’t know how much they’ll be able to leave behind to the next generation. It appears many people may not have clarity on their finances.”

The standard rate of inheritance tax is 40 per cent and falls due on estates worth over £325,000. The tax is only applied on the amount of the estate above this value.