Inheritance: Parents 'aim to leave children £300,000'

Middle class parents hope to leave their children an inheritance of more than £300,000 when they die, a survey indicated today.

The average professional aged over 45 expects their children to receive 335,285 in their will, nearly three times as much as the 115,000 that they themselves inherited from their own parents, according to Heartwood Wealth Management.

A quarter of parents also plan to transfer some of their wealth to their children before they die in a bid to cut down on the amount of inheritance tax they have to pay.

Overall, parents plan to leave 78% of their assets to their children, with 9% going to other family members and 6% to their grandchildren.

People plan to leave an average of just 7% of their estate to charities, friends and religious organisations.

Neil Edwards, head of tax solutions at Heartwood Wealth Management, said: "In our experience many parents are torn between leaving a meaningful inheritance to their children and helping them to cope with rising education costs, debt and unaffordable house prices.

"Add to this the escalating costs of elderly care, and what many parents aspire to leave their children may sadly end up being far more than what's finally left over."

* Opinium Research questioned 1,041 people during November.