Estate Planning | What to do with an inheritance

by Flanders Law Firm LLC on February 29, 2012

Disclaimer:  this article and all content related to it will not be able to tell you what to do with your inheritance.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, I would hope that any person who has inherited a large (or even small) amount of money had a plan for what they want to do with it.  My sage advice?   Don’t do anything stupid.

I was reading an interesting article today in the Wall Street Journal which discussed the topic of when people get rich too soon.  Tough problem to have right?

As a lawyer who drafts wills and does estate planning for people, I found the article particular enlightening – perhaps because I didn’t realize the large amount of people who get inheritances a year.  According to the article:

More than nine million households in the U.S. reported getting an inheritance of at least $100,000, according to the latest available data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances.

That is a lot of money for a lot of people.  I realize that $100,000 is not $1,000,000, but it is enough that people should be aware of the importance of estate planning.

Yes, this blog can be self-serving for myself and my law practice as an estate planning lawyer, but it doesn’t change the fact that people need to be prepared for a potential windfall from an inheritance.

Furthermore, you would be surprised at how many people who I talk to on a day-to-day basis don’t have a basic will or other estate planning documents.  What happens if you get hurt or die?  Do you have a plan?  Is it not wrong to have some kind of plan for your disability or death when you have children or a spouse at home who needs you?

Another interesting tidbit from the article:

Baby boomers—those 78 million people born from 1946 through 1964—are expected to inherit some $8.4 trillion during their lifetimes, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

If you are a baby boomer and you haven’t had estate planning done, you should be ashamed of yourself.  End of story.

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