A new study suggests that a third of Britain’s high net worth individuals (HNWIs) have not made any plans whatsoever to prepare for the transfer of their estate when they die.

The study, which was carried out last year and quizzed more than 800 wealthy Britons, also found that three quarters of HNWIs only had a ‘partial’ plan in place.

The news comes despite the fact that HNWIs are almost certain to have an estate worth in excess of the £325,000 threshold beyond which Inheritance Tax (IHT) is levied at a rate of 40 per cent of the estate’s total value.

According to the latest data from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), IHT receipts hit a record high of £4.72bn in the 2015/16 financial year, with an increasing number of families failing to take crucial IHT and estate planning advice prior to their death.

A separate study recently carried out by insurance company Canada Life found that almost a quarter of UK homeowners were unaware that their main residence was liable for IHT – while almost a third did not know that IHT is also payable on cash savings and investments.

If you are concerned that your estate might be affected, the only way to ensure that your legacy will be preserved for your loved ones exactly as you wish is to appoint a specialist solicitor to carry out an analysis of your circumstances and IHT obligations.