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Are You Ready to Inherit Your Parents' Estate?

If you expect to receive a sizable inheritance from your parents, protect their legacy by preparing for the pitfalls as well as the opportunities that lie ahead. Here are some tips to help you handle your new wealth.

Take a Time-Out
Before you rush out to buy a beachside cottage or invest more for retirement or a child's college education, take a deep breath and...do nothing. So advises Susan Bradley in her book Sudden Money. Instead, she recommends hanging out in a "decision-free zone" for a while, taking care only of crucial issues such as meeting financial deadlines.


Let the Planning Begin
If you ever need the assistance of trusted advisors, the time is now. The death of a parent is complicated emotionally. Some adult children feel burdened by what they think would be their parents' expectations and don't want to let them down. A professional advisor can provide the information you need apart from those kinds of considerations, allowing you to look at the situation more objectively.


Take advantage of the services of a financial planner and/or tax professional. For information about strategies that, among other benefits, can provide you a regular income for life while supporting our mission, contact Paula S. Fortunas at 850-431-5752 or paula.fortunas@tmh.org.

Talk to Mom and Dad While You Can
If your parents are still living, talk to them about their estate plans. Here's how. "Get your own financial house in order first," says Ann Perry in The Wise Inheritor. "Then you can matter-of-factly describe for Mom and Dad the value of such planning and ask if they themselves have given any thought to it. That way, you aren't asking your parents to do something you haven't done yourself."
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The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For legal or tax advice, please consult an attorney. Figures cited in examples are for hypothetical purposes only and are subject to change. References to estate and income taxes apply to federal taxes only. State income/estate taxes or state law may impact your results.