How to Make Sure Your “I Received an Inheritance” Story Has a Happy Ending

Receiving an inheritance can be a life-altering event; how you handle it can make a big difference in whether it has a positive or negative impact on your life. Stories abound of people who inherit large sums or win the lottery only to end up alone and miserable (and broke!) not long after receiving what was supposed to be a blessing.

Before you spend your inheritance, you need to think carefully to make sure you won’t end up being yet another sad “money ruined my life” story.

What Kinds of Things Should You Consider After Receiving an Inheritance?

  • The Intent

    What did the person who gave you the gift intend for you to do with it, and how can you use it to achieve what they wanted for you?

    The best way to honor the giver is to use it the way they would have wanted you to, so it’s worth considering their intentions before you make any decisions.

  • The Value

    How can you maximize the value of the gift so it serves you well over the long term? Should you hold, spend or invest it?

    Once the money is gone, it’s gone, so consider whether you might get more from it by investing it or saving it for future needs you don’t yet know are coming.

  • The Consequences

    Are there any financial or other ramifications to spending it the way you want that you may not have thought of?

    Depending on the size of the inheritance, spending it could trigger tax or other consequences, so it’s wise to talk to a financial advisor before deciding.

These are just a few of the broader questions you should think about– depending on your particular situation, there may be other things you need to look at.

Request Our Free Guide: Managing an Inheritance

Managing an Inheritance guide cover

To help you better understand the pitfalls and the promise of your gift, we offer a free guide, Managing an Inheritance, with helpful tips for managing an inheritance and more information on some of the common inheritance challenges heirs face.

The guide includes a handy checklist and information on common issues that arise when you receive an inheritance:

  • What to do right away
  • Tax consequences to keep in mind
  • Handling inherited retirement accounts
  • Dealing with shared inheritances of property

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If you want to speak with an advisor to discuss your inheritance and make sure you’ve considered all of your options and their ramifications, please contact us to schedule a confidential consultation.

We’ll be glad to help you make sure there are no surprises and your inheritance is the blessing it was intended to be.

Tools and Resources

What are inheritance taxes?

Does your state have an estate or inheritance tax?

The Right Way to Handle an Inheritance

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