You should not count on a windfall from the inheritance: many people discover that they get nothing, research shows

Millions are making plans for an inheritance they will never receive, according to research by the will-writing service Farewill.

About 3.5 million people have made financial plans to spend expected inherited family wealth, only to be disappointed when their loved ones die and they receive nothing.

Nearly one in four 18 to 24 year olds is overwhelmed by a lack of inherited funds. Among 25 to 34 year olds this drops to just over one in six.

Farewell boss says: ‘Great expectations can lead to enormous disappointment if not managed properly’

The main mistakes that prevent survivors from receiving the expected fortune are when people fail to update their wills or discuss their plans with their family.

Nearly half of adults admit they’ve never updated their will – and 47 percent of people who have updated their will haven’t done so in more than a decade.

Dan Garret, CEO of Farewill, says that it is essential for most people to draw up a will to determine where their assets go.

He says: ‘With the increase in property prices over the past forty years, the expectation of intergenerational wealth transfer is higher than ever.

“These big expectations can lead to big disappointments if not managed properly.”