April 25 2014 Latest news:

Embarrassment and a lack of understanding about the importance of inheritance is preventing people speaking to close family members about wills and later life planning.

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More than a third of the population whose parents are still alive do not know if their parents have a will, or how their parents plan to distribute their estate.

And nearly half admit they do not know where any of their parents’ important financial documents are kept.

NS&I’s Savings Survey also reveals that only 7pc of British people have spoken to their parents about inheritance.

The research demonstrates that a lack of key pieces of knowledge could easily make a stressful time even more difficult.

Reasons given for not speaking about inheritance topics include the subject not being a priority, preferring to push the conversations back to a later date and not wanting to think about their parents dying.

NS&I spokesperson Tim Mack said: “Later life financial planning is an important issue which affects everyone.

“It might be a sensitive subject, but every member of a family should try and encourage the others to sit down together and talk about this openly.

“This is a chance for parents to have honest conversations with their children about the importance of planning ahead, and provides an opportunity for parents to share advice from their own experiences on this matter.”

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