Inheriting Money? 4 Things You Should do IMMEDIATELY 👇
As a financial advisor, one of the greatest areas of concern I see is when someone inherits money unexpectedly. While different from winning money (which comes with its own rules and regulations), inheriting wealth can be a difficult process.
I can’t know the CLEAREST course of action until I’ve met you and learned more about your everyday life, but here are 4 things that I would encourage you to do as soon as possible.
#1: Pay Down Debts
If you’ve followed my content in the past, then you probably already know how strongly I encourage my clients to pay down their debts. ESPECIALLY on loans or credit cards that are accruing a large amount of interest.
When you receive an unexpected inheritance, paying down debts is a really great idea! The savings on interest and fees can add up fast! Just think how much your monthly income would increase if you didn’t have a house or car payment?
But depending on where you are in your life and career, it’s not always the best course of action. One thing to consider is setting up an emergency fund or putting money towards a long-term goal!
#2: Be Mindful of Relationships
If you win the lottery or get a large inheritance, friends or family might come knocking at your door. I recommend keeping your finances private. 🤐
Maintaining the integrity of your relationships is a concern that I take very seriously. Although each situation is going to be entirely unique, here are a few things I’d like you to ask yourself:
👉 Are you aware of the rules and regulations that are involved when you gift money to others?
👉 Do you have a Trust or other legal entity to protect you if someone fails to respect your financial decisions?
👉 Are you working with a financial advisor who understands your circumstances and can help you make smart decisions?
It’s not always easy to make a big financial decision when you want so badly to help someone you love. My mission is to help you achieve your personal financial goals without giving up your aspiration to help the people you love.
#3: Have a Financial Protection Strategy
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Whether you’ve received a modest inheritance or a life-altering amount of money, diversifying your wealth can often help stimulate growth without gambling your financial health. I recently shared a short video breaking down some of the details you’ll want to consider when you invest in a retirement account 👇
Suggested Video: Growth Tips for IRA & 401k
My clients aren’t always in the “getting started” phases of investments and retirement plans. Sometimes I work with people who are well-versed in the benefits and drawbacks of wealth accumulation. Regardless of where you are in your planning, the market is always changing. Keeping in touch with an advisor may help you navigate your financial health and reach your goals.
#4 Safeguard Your Inheritance & Assets
Now that we’ve addressed some of your short-term concerns, there are also some important long-term events to consider after you inherit money.
❓ Are you concerned about current or future creditors taking your inheritance?
❓ What happens to your inheritance if you die or become permanently disabled?
❓ If your beneficiary dies, will your money be accessible by your family?
Not a lot of people know this, but wealth accumulation can sometimes be unproductive if you don’t create a safeguard for it. Safeguards can help keep your money and property “tucked away” from creditors.
One of the ways you can protect your inheritance from creditors is to work with an attorney and set your assets aside in a Trust.
➡️ What is a Trust?
A Trust is a legal arrangement that allows a third party (also known as a “trustee”) to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary or beneficiaries. Unlike a Will, a Trust can be prepared to allow much more privacy over how much wealth or property you inherited.
The benefit of an Irrevocable Trust, for example, would be that the assets are not in your name. All of the finances and assets are secured inside of the Trust and controlled by whomever you name as trustee.
Creating a Trust not only secures your legacy, but they can also be designed so that your money is still accessible to you during your lifetime. They also grant you more control on how your money can be spent if you are unable to make your own decisions.
One of the benefits of a Trust is that, in most cases, a Trust does not have to go through probate court1. One exception is a Testamentary Trust, which is included in your last will and testament. It becomes effective upon your death and if it holds any assets it will need to be approved by the probate court2.
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Estate Planning Workshops
- Advantages and disadvantages of a Will and Living Trust.
- Legal strategies for protecting your assets and your family’s inheritance from creditors, divorce, and lawsuits.
- How to provide for special needs (disabled) children and grandchildren.
- How and when to gift your assets and why putting property in children’s names may be a mistake.
- The latest laws and qualifications for Medicaid and Veterans Aid.
Neither the firm nor its agents or representatives may give tax or legal advice. Individuals should consult with a qualified professional for guidance before making any purchasing decisions. Our firm is not affiliated with the U.S. government or any governmental agency.
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Please remember that converting an employer plan account to a Roth IRA is a taxable event. Increased taxable income from the Roth IRA conversion may have several consequences including (but not limited to) a need for additional tax withholding or estimated tax payments, the loss of certain tax deductions and credits, higher taxes on Social Security benefits, and higher Medicare premiums.
Be sure to consult with a qualified tax advisor before making any decisions regarding your IRA. Neither the firm nor its agents or representatives may give tax or legal advice. Individuals should consult with a qualified professional for guidance before making any purchasing decisions. Asset allocation and diversification may not protect against market risk, loss of principal, or validity of returns. Investment advisory services are made available through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and The Resource Center are not affiliated companies.
Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. Any references to protection benefits, safety, security generally refer to fixed insurance products, never securities or investment products. Insurance and annuity product guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.
1 Sigel, Zack. “Trusts vs Wills: Which do I Need?” Policygenius, 16 Dec. 2021, www.policygenius.com/estate-planning/living-trust-vs-will/.
2 Kagan, Julia. “What Is a Testamentary Trust?” Investopedia, edited by Ebony Howard, Dotdash Meredith, 13 July 2022, www.investopedia.com/terms/t/testamentarytrust.asp#:~:text=Living%20Trust-,A%20testamentary%20trust%20is%20a%20trust%20that%20is%20to%20contain,as%20outlined%20in%20the%20will.