The fact that nearly seven million parents have given children an early inheritance shows that lifetime estate planning is not something which is restricted to the high-net worth and ultra-high net worth community.

Assisting children to get onto the property ladder and supporting grandchildren through education and university are two of the most common reasons for passing wealth down through the generations.

Independent financial and legal advice should be sought before carrying out any significant estate planning, however this research shows that it is a financial tool that is harnessed by millions and could surely be used by more than that.