Inheritances Can Come With Mixed Emotions, Expectations

For people who receive an inheritance from a deceased parent or loved one, there can be a range of emotions, especially if there are significant sums of money or assets left to them. Some may believe that the wealth passed on to them is sacred, so they feel compelled to protect it at all costs. Others may feel as if they are free to spend it in any way they choose. As we have noted in prior posts, many baby boomers do not anticipate receiving an inheritance, but it can happen.

Either way, an inheritance in Michigan can represent a substantial change in life, and it is important to adjust one’s estate plan accordingly. Those who desire to keep family heirlooms or substantial sums of money in the family may need adjust their wills so that these assets are distributed according to their wishes. They may also want to create a trust so that special assets are spoken for (and will not be fought over in probate).

For those who want to improve their lifestyles, it is critical to make sure that the money left to them lasts as long as their loved ones envisioned. Sometimes inheritances are subject to very specific provisions regarding distribution, but in the event they are not, it is prudent to work with a financial planner so that windfalls are not quickly squandered.

If you are anticipating the receipt of an inheritance, you can work with an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure that you understand the benefits and risks of your decisions, whatever path you choose.

Source: NY Times.com “When boomers inherit, complications may follow,” Feb. 11, 2014

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