How to Manage an Inheritance Wisely

Receiving a sudden inheritance can help relieve financial stress, but it can also be an emotionally and logistically overwhelming experience. Here’s how to make sure any lump sum of money you receive is ultimately used to its greatest potential.

Pause to reflect. Receiving an inheritance usually comes with the tragedy of losing someone you love. Instead of making rash decisions under the influence of intense emotions, put the money into a high interest-bearing account and give yourself plenty of time to grieve your loss before you decide what to do with the money.

Create financial goals. Before you give to charity or start investing, it’s essential to have a long-term financial plan. Look at the bigger picture and imagine how the inheritance will affect you down the road. Talk to advisors, get some perspective, and sit down with a qualified planner to help you develop a solid list of priorities and goals.

Pay down debts. Since paying off a 6 percent debt has a pretax equivalent of over 9 percent, tackling your debt could be the best investment move you make. Conversely, not using inheritance money to get rid of debt is essentially the same as leaving funds in savings while financing something of the same value.

Enjoy it. It’s important to have balance in every area of life, and the same goes for your inheritance. Set aside up to 10 percent as “fun money” and indulge a little bit. Again, just be sure you’ve made a solid financial plan before you start spending.

Through careful planning and good advice, you’ll be able to use your inheritance in a way that creates lasting value. Please reach out if you have any questions.