One in five Brits has already received all or part of their inheritance, it emerged today
Researchers discovered millions of young adults, dubbed NINNIs – or Need It Now, Not as Inheritance – have gone cap in hand to mum and dad for an advance on their legacy.
Cash deposits for property, paying off mounting debts and help to get them through difficult periods of unemployment emerged as the most common reasons.
Parents have also helped their grown-up children out with cash for University fees, weddings and honeymoons.
The research, which examined the financial health of 1,000 under 35s and 1,000 over 50s, found 16 per cent of the younger bracket have had close to £50,000.
Incredibly, one in ten have received £100,000 or more.
It also emerged that one in twenty parents have already handed over all their liquid assets, leaving only property to pass to their children when they die.
The astonishing figures were revealed in a report commissioned by Skipton Financial Services, the mutually-owned financial adviser.
Andrew Barker, managing director of Skipton Financial Services, said: ”It is no surprise that with inflation well above expectations, rising taxes, university debt growing by the year and mortgages much more unaffordable than before the credit crunch, young people are more and more desperate for a financial helping hand from their parents.
”Whereas in the past they would have been happy and grateful to wait for any inheritance that could come their way, a growing number of NINNIs are expecting and relying upon their inheritance earlier and earlier, with more than half wanting their inheritance by the age of 40.
”The most common reasons for young adults wanting their inheritance early is to pay off debt, move house or to afford to start a family so in these tough times they are being financially prudent and not throwing their cash away on nice-to-have luxury items.”
The study found of those parents who have already handed over all they can, 55 per cent said it was to enable their children to buy a home.
One in four kids needed the money to pay off mounting debts while 12 per cent required it to support their offspring through unemployment.
Main reasons for giving it now are for parents to see them enjoy it now rather than when they’re gone (54 per cent), how it makes sense to give them money while they can afford it (46 per cent), and 35 per cent are aware of their kids’ financial struggles.
One in twenty were pressured into releasing funds by their offspring.
For those who have already given a chunk of their inheritance, it averaged #34,000 and their youngsters received it at the age of 28.
They ended up spending it on a car, first house or wedding.
The report found eight in ten parents intend to leave their kids an inheritance in the future, totalling close to £143,000.
However, this will place a strain on finances for 34 per cent of ageing parents.
For the one in five who don’t plan to leave an inheritance, three in ten said they have already helped their kids out enough financially, while 12 per cent want their children to stand on their own two feet.
A massive 35 per cent said they will struggle to have enough funds to pass anything on.
Another one in six of those who won’t hand down an inheritance said their children are poor at managing money and a quarter are worried they will squander it. The same number said there were other family members in greater need of the cash.
Half admitted they would have to live off their ‘would be inheritance’ to fund their retirement with 75 per cent admitting they would have to cope with less for longer.
Andrew Barker added: ”Thankfully for many young adults, the soaring property prices of the last two decades have meant that their parents have enough equity in their estate to duly oblige.
”However over half admitted that they would have to live off their would be inheritance to fund their retirement, selflessly putting a strain on their finances to help their children get by.”