This survey comes at a time when HM Revenue & Customs figures state the government is set to take around £5.2bn ($6.9bn, €6.03bn) in inheritance tax.
Quilter also found only 15% said they had sought information or professional advice on both transferring their wealth while still living and at death.
Over a third of respondents (35%) who have not sought this type of information or advice said this was something they hadn’t even considered before.
A further 22% said they did not feel they needed the information and advice, while 20% said they did not have enough assets to justify paying for the advice.
Never too early
Pamela Reid, client services director at discretionary fund manager Quilter Cheviot, said: “Inheriting is assumed to be completely normal, yet this research shows it is still something that isn’t openly discussed and in many cases isn’t being planned.
“It is never too early to start planning, and these findings should encourage financial advisers to open the discussions with their clients wherever possible; addressing common misconceptions and concerns and encouraging them to be as transparent with their next of kin earlier.”
The research also revealed that nearly three quarters (73%) of respondents do not have a wealth transfer or inheritance plan in place, while 40% have not discussed plans to pass on wealth to family members who will benefit.
A similar proportion said they had discussed their plans, but not in great detail.