Seven in ten people face paying a bigger inheritance tax (IHT) bill than they might need to, a survey suggests, despite the fact that four in ten are concerned about paying the tax.

The research, co-sponsored by Canada Life and AKG, revealed that three-quarters of individuals had taken no steps to reduce their IHT liability, while only a fifth have taken action.

IHT is applied on a deceased individual's estate above the threshold of £325,000 at 40%, although many people use various methods to decrease their IHT bill.

For instance, subject to IHT rules, individuals can avoid a charge on assets if they give them to family members as a gift, or if they put part of their estate into a trust.

According to the survey by Canada Life and AKG, 20% of individuals have taken such actions to mitigate their IHT liability.

Sean Christian, MD and executive director of wealth management at Canada Life, said:

"There is clearly a huge opportunity for further education and guidance when it comes to inheritance tax planning.

"Families have been through intense strain over the last 18 months, with many being faced with difficult discussions and decisions that may have previously been brushed under the carpet."

Talk to us about inheritance tax planning.