What are the Best Sources of Inheritance Advice?

Jessica Ellis

An inheritance is a transfer of money, property, or goods to an heir, usually enacted after the death of the prior owner. When an inheritance is received or discovered, it can cause a lot of mixed feelings and confusion about how to handle the situation. Seeking out good inheritance advice is a matter of trust and careful thinking; it is important to approach the right people for the right type of advice and support during this often conflicting experience.

Trusted friends may be able to offer advice to help with conflicting opinions.
Trusted friends may be able to offer advice to help with conflicting opinions.

When an inheritance is first discovered, it may be important to contact an estate attorney for advice. Depending on regional laws, the process of claiming an inheritance can be tricky and may involve additional tax forms or other notifications to be filed. To avoid legal trouble in the future, consider getting inheritance advice from an experienced attorney before the inheritance is even received.

Good financial advice is crucial when receiving an inheritance. If the inheritance is money, it is important to consider how to make it work the best. Like lottery winnings, a large inheritance can quickly disappear if not properly managed. Consider hiring a financial adviser to come up with a plan for money; such as investing some, creating retirement accounts or funds for education, or even for donating some to charity. A good financial professional will understand the complexity of the situation and offer solutions and plans that fit individual needs; in order to prevent an inheritance from vanishing, getting clear and honest financial inheritance advice can be a major step.

If an heir receives property or goods, it is important to fully understand the value and obligation of these gifts through good inheritance advice. Some financial experts suggest sitting down with an appraiser immediately to help determine the assets and liabilities of the inheritance. While this may sound cold-blooded, it actually helps prepare an heir to fully understand an inheritance and make the best plans for the future. If a piece of property is inherited, it is vital to understand the value of the property as well as the cost of maintenance, need for repairs, and other possible costs in order to plan for the future of the property correctly. If goods, such as an art collection, are inherited, an appraisal of value will let the heir know how the collection should be cared for as well as raise awareness about possible security concerns.

Inheritance advice can also deal with the emotional ramifications of receiving a gift from a departed friend or relative. People can feel guilty over receiving things they did not specifically earn, or feel obligated to keep items they do not value or cannot use. Trusted friends and family members may be able to offer good emotional advice to help with conflicting opinions, but be wary of disclosing specific details. Suddenly becoming a millionaire or receiving a high-value gift can inspire unexpected jealousy or anger, even from close friends or relatives. Consider broaching the emotional problem without bringing specific amounts or details into the discussion.

It may also be beneficial to seek inheritance advice from a professional such as a counselor or financial advisor, rather than a personal connection. As an uninterested party with no personal connection to the situation, the advice of a professional may be more objective. It may also allow an heir to be more open about his or her conflicted feelings, since it may feel ungrateful to the memory of the deceased to bring these feelings up to family members or friends

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