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What Is Considered as a Large Inheritance in the UK?

Written by, Marija Petkova

Updated May, 11, 2022

A large inheritance can be both a blessing and a burden –it opens opportunities from a financial perspective but it also imposes certain responsibilities and restrictions. 

But, what is considered as a large inheritance in the UK, what are the benefits, and are there any tax limitations?

Let’s find out.

What Is Considered a Large Inheritance in the UK?

Whether a certain amount of money is large, small, or medium inheritance depends on the recipient’s financial situation. A large inheritance is an inheritance that’s big enough to have a substantial impact on your life. 

In general, any amount higher than £100.000 can be considered as a large inheritance.    

How Much Inheritance Do People Typically Receive?

The average inheritance in the UK is around £11,000. 

When it comes to expectations, those of UK citizens appear to be quite high. One study showed that adults in the UK expect to receive an inheritance of £132,000. But, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), most of them will receive much less.

What Is the Average Age of Inheritance in the UK? 

ONS figures show that the majority of recipients are spouses older than 55 years old. The numbers also suggest that older people have better chances to receive an inheritance. 

For example, people with a high income, aged between 55 and 65, are most likely to inherit a big amount of money or property. 

Those in the younger age groups usually receive the smallest amount, which in most cases, comes from their grandparents. The latest figures show that 67% of those aged between 16 and 35 received an inheritance from a grandparent.

Inheritance and Benefits in the UK

Whether an inheritance will affect your means tested benefits, depends on the amount and the type of inheritance.

If you’re claiming Universal Credit, you will lose some of the benefits when your savings hit the £6.000 threshold and all of them if the amount exceeds £16.000. The minimum threshold for pension credit is £10.000 in savings.

What Is the Limit of the Inheritance Tax in the UK in 2021/22?

The standard inheritance tax rate is 40% of the entire lump sum, but there are some exceptions. The inheritance tax drops down to 36% on some assets if the descendants leave at least 10% of the net value to a charity.

How much can you inherit before paying inheritance tax?

No inheritance tax is paid if:

  • The value of the estate is below £325.000.   
  • The property is passed to a partner, a spouse, or a charity. 

Different rules apply when a recipient inherits money in the form of a gift before the person dies. Under inheritance law, gifts aren’t taxable if they were given 7 years prior to your death, except in cases when they were given as part of a trust. Just make you have the right proof for your gifted deposit funds.

What can you do with an inheritance?

The first thing to do is figure out the tax implications and pay any taxes that you owe. You should then carefully consider your financial priorities

Here are some smart ways you can use the inherited money:  

  • Invest the money in shares or funds
  • Pay off your debt and credit cards
  • Pay for a house deposit or pay off your mortgage
  • Invest in your or your children’s education
  • Donate the money to a charity 
  • Invest it in healthcare

If you’re not sure what your best option is, it might be a good idea to seek advice from a financial advisor. 

Bottom Line 

If you receive an inheritance, regardless of the amount, and use it wisely, it can have a positive impact on your life. Always make sure to check if you have an inheritance tax to pay and if you need to, you can always seek professional advice. 

Frequently Asked Questions And Their Answers

Do you have to declare inheritance as income in the UK?

Anyone who receives an inheritance in the UK has to notify HMRC even if they don’t have to pay an inheritance tax

Can debt be collected from my inheritance in the UK?

Bankrupt beneficiaries are entitled to inheritance but the inherited assets will automatically vest in the trustee of the bankrupt estate for the creditor’s benefits.

Will my inheritance affect my benefits?

Receiving inheritance while on benefits in the UK can affect the amount of means-tested benefits entitled to you. To find out more information on this topic, check out the article above about

What is considered as a large inheritance in the UK?

The average inheritance in the UK is £11,000, but whether it’s considered large or small, depends on the recipient’s financial situation. 

My name is Marija, and I'm a financial writer at DontDisappointMe. Although finance might not be everyone's cup of tea, my 10+ years of working in one of the biggest banks in my country, and my interest in extensive research on everything finance/investment-related, have made me somewhat of an expert in the field (if I do say so myself). No longer having the passion to work in a corporate setting, I decided that I couldn't let all of this knowledge go to waste so I started writing. And, here I am! Today I try to share my knowledge with my audience in the hopes of making this topic as simple and interesting as possible. In my leisure time, I like spending time with my family and travelling to new locations.