Many Britons should be planning on receiving a more substantial inheritance than they expected, research suggests.

Wealth management firm Charles Stanley recently surveyed more than 2,000 adults and discovered many are significantly underestimating the amount they are due to inherit.

The study found people expected to receive an average inheritance of £78,000 from their parents, which was almost 60 per cent below the actual average figure of £124,000.

Alex Price, director of financial planning at Charles Stanley, said: “Adults across the UK are in line for an unexpected inheritance windfall, as a significant gap is revealed between expectations and the amount that is due to head their way.”

Older demographics were set to leave more, the statistics showed, with those aged over 75 likely to leave around £275,000, while baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) said they would pass on around £174,000.

Despite the sums involved, however, less than a quarter (22 per cent) of Britons said their family had actually discussed inheritance issues. This was reflected in the fact that 17 per cent of respondents said they did not know if they would inherit anything.

Among people who had already received a proportion of their inheritance, 29 per cent said it was to help them out with pressing financial issues.

Stressing the importance of discussing the implications of inheritance and putting plans in place, Mr Price added: “When significant sums of money are involved, it’s important to speak to your loved ones about your intentions and your wishes early, and not doing so can come at a price. Having the ‘money talk’ with children is the ‘grown-up’ version of the birds and the bees talk.

“In addition to potentially reducing inheritance tax bills and helping families build wealth into their long-term planning, talking now could see many families passing down wealth early.

“People all over the country have been impacted in one way or another by the pandemic, some may need support; trickling down wealth early could be an option to alleviating immediate money worries now, while reducing inheritance tax liability in the future.”