File photo: A quarter want to stop family money being lost if their children get divorced. Picture: AP

London - Millions of over-55s are attaching conditions to their legacy to protect it if their children divorce.

Many are anxious to keep tight control over the "bank of mum and dad" even after their death, a report reveals.

A quarter want to stop family money being lost if their children get divorced, says the Prudential study. Just under a third want to ensure their grandchildren benefit while one in eight want to specify what their legacy is used for.

Thirteen percent have already sought, or intend to seek, financial and legal advice to help ensure their inheritance is spent wisely. And 10 percent want their children to obtain professional advice on receiving their inheritance.

One common tactic is to put the inheritance into a discretionary trust, so trustees decide how and when the money is spent, protecting it against being claimed in a divorce settlement.

Prudential tax expert Les Cameron said: "With two in five marriages ending in divorce, it is easy to understand why the problem of keeping wealth within the family is a growing concern for the bank of mum and dad when they’re planning to leave money to children and grandchildren."

Although more than a third of over-55s are concerned about incurring inheritance tax on their estate, only 19 percent have taken advice to reduce the bill.

Cameron said: "Reducing inheritance tax bills is relatively straightforward.

"People need to strike the right balance between giving their wealth away during their lifetime, to reduce the size of their estate, and maintaining some form of control after their death over who can access it and when."