Millennials are set for an "inheritance boom" - but it is coming too late to help with dreams of home ownership or escaping inequality, as many will have to wait until the average age of 61 to receive anything.
A new report published by the Resolution Foundation for the Intergenerational Commission revealed that the inheritance boom will be the biggest of any post-war generation, as the large sums of wealth accumulated by older people are due to provide a much-needed boost to young people. Inheritances look set to more than double in the next two decades, peaking in 2035, as baby boomers, who currently boast more than half of Britain's wealth, go through old age.
But the boost to young people currently aged 20 to 35 will come too late in life and be distributed too unequally to smooth out the stark generational wealth divide. Of young people who have yet to own a home, 46% have parents who do not own one either, compared to 83% of home-owning millennials whose parents also own a property.
And it is estimated that the most common age for millennials to inherit from their parents will be 61, making the boost too late for the child-rearing stage of their lives.
On the bright side, a greater share of millennials are due to benefit from inheritance, as just 38% of adults born in the 1930s received an inheritance, compared to almost 66% of young adults today who might expect to get a share of their parents' property in the future.
Laura Gardiner, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: "Older generations have benefitted hugely from the big increases in household wealth in Britain over recent decades. While the millennials have done far less well in accumulating their own assets, they are likely to benefit from an inheritance boom in the decades ahead.
"This is likely to be very welcome news for those millennials, including some from poorer backgrounds who in the past would have been unlikely to receive bequests. They have the good fortune to benefit from the luck of the baby boomer generation.
"But inheritance is not the silver bullet that will get a whole new generation on the housing ladder or address growing wealth gaps in society. Even for those millennials who will receive a bequest, it's unlikely to come when they're coupling up, having children, and trying to buy a family home when the extra wealth would be much needed, but as they approach retirement instead."