While coming into money is often the best problem anyone can encounter in life, it can create a number of singular challenges. Wise beneficiaries always immediately seek out professional financial guidance. Be sure to set up appointments with both your Peachtree City estate planning attorney and a highly recommended financial planner. These two individuals can help you avoid many of the early pitfalls so many people fall into after they’ve just inherited money.                                                                                                                                                         In fact, it’s a good idea after you’ve placed your new wealth in a fully insured account to sit down and make a list of the debts you want to pay off first – long before ever going on even a modest shopping spree.                                                                                                                  Here are some basic reminders about which debts to retire first.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Spending Any New Inheritance Money

  • What are all of my highest-interest loans and credit cards? Assuming you’ve inherited a rather large sum of money, you should probably pay these off right away. If your advisors think you can afford to do so, consider paying off your mortgage, especially if it involves a high interest rate;
  • Be sure to set aside ample funds to cover any upcoming taxes you may owe. Find out if you should immediately place a large portion of your wealth in a tax-saving trust account;
  • Consider making large contributions to your various retirement funds – making sure you won’t need to use this money to live on any time soon;
  • Speak with all of your closest family members to learn about their needs – once you’ve definitely provided for your own future expenses. Is there someone ill who needs help with mortgage payments or could use your help to pay off their student loans?
  • If you’ve inherited expensive property like artwork or valuable jewelry. Immediately find out where you can safely store such items and obtain proper insurance coverage to protect you against any future losses or theft;
  • Update your will – or create your first one. Also, consider creating any trust accounts recommended by your lawyer and other financial advisors;
  • If you have any outstanding medical debt, pay it off now and be done with it;
  • Decide if you’d like to create a charitable foundation – or simply contribute generously to your place of worship and one or more local charities;
  • Carefully review your current investment portfolio and see if you need to change your investment strategy. If you don’t already have a trustworthy stockbroker or investment banker, ask your closest friends to recommend one;
  • Hire an accountant you know you can trust and set up regular weekly or monthly meetings until you feel you your money is being handled properly. Make sure this person is properly bonded so that you won’t suffer any major losses if any of your funds are later mishandled or stolen. It may be wise to go with a large financial investment firm that employs accountants so you can be sure they’re properly insured against such losses.


To obtain help with satisfying all of your Georgia estate planning needs, please contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith today.  You can schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Peachtree City estate planning attorney by calling: (770) 487-8999.

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