Inherited – How do I Manage Inherited Wealth?
The term 'inherited' typically refers to receiving property from a person who has passed away. There are a couple of ways that people can inherit property. It can be gifted before death or after the person passes away. Gifts can be given through a Will or via probate estate settlement proceeding.
Nearly anything can be inherited. People can gift money, personal belongings, real estate, business assets, or household items. Even pets can be bequeathed through a last will and testament.
Inheriting loved ones belongings is a bittersweet event. It's never easy to lose a relative or friend, but acquiring some of their assets can ease the grief. For most people, inherited items are filled with sentimental value. However, things can turn ugly when valuable items and large sums of money are involved
Over the years, I've sat in many probate courts to bid on items being liquidated through forced estate sales. In most cases, inheritance property had to be sold to cover costs of legal fees associated with heirs contesting the Will.
It's disheartening to watch family disputes over property turn into inheritance wars. Certainly, there are times when contesting a Will is appropriate, but it is often carried out as a way of getting revenge.
While most people accept inherited gifts provided through Wills with gratitude, some people allow greed or highly-charged emotions take over their common sense. If there is any hint this could occur within your family it is vital to engage in estate planning strategies to safeguard property and heirs.
There are multiple approaches to estate planning. Much depends on owned assets and estate value. People with estates valued below $50,000 might only require a basic Will, while estates valued over $2 million might want to require an irrevocable life insurance trust.
Individuals holding titled property, such as real estate, will need to establish joint ownership via recorded titles. Individuals with cash held in financial institutions can designate beneficiaries to receive funds upon death. These kinds of property do not have to be recorded in the last will and can avoid probate as long as beneficiaries are established.
For all intent and purpose, estate planning can be established to suit personal needs. Certain things, such as specific types of burial, must comply with state laws. Otherwise, this method grants opportunity to leave inherited wealth to whomever you desire.
Without estate planning, your estate will be settled by court ruling. Probate law varies by state, but assets are generally given to the surviving spouse and direct lineage heirs. Dying without a Will places unnecessary burdens on loved ones, so if you haven't taken time to write a Will, now is a good time to take action.
We'd like to help you get started and encourage you to peruse our estate planning and probate article library. We cover topics of probate and trusts and offer tips for minimizing estate and inheritance taxes and ways to avoid probate, along with reliable resources where you can attain the help you need.