Perhaps your parents recently told you they plan to leave you the beach house when they pass. And just for common curiosity, you looked up the estimated value of the beach house… and it’s worth more than you ever imagined! Before you order the champagne and throw the lavish parties, it’s best to stop and consider all sides of the situation. You have time to be ready to receive a windfall of money, and you should prepare for an inheritance.
What constitutes inheriting a substantial amount differs from person to person. $50,000 may change one person’s life, but another person may need $500,000 to feel significant. Either way, the first piece of advice we can give you as you start to prepare for an inheritance is to take it slow. Inheritance loans are available, but make sure you absolutely need one before taking it out. There is no reason to start spending money before it’s yours.
Even if your parents are ill and the end is near – take it slow.
One reason not to spend the money before you have it is that you may never receive it. I’m sure the person who told you they were leaving you money had good intentions. But they may not have actually written the will yet. Or the will may be contested, and a good portion of the money is lost to fighting for what’s yours. Working with an experienced probate attorney can help ensure you receive your inheritance.
Take Tori Spelling, for example. Her father’s estate was estimated at $600 million when he died, but Tori only inherited less than 1%. She grew up assuming her family would always have money, and so would she. But the inheritance misunderstanding led to DECADES of pain and lost family relationships. She may have never talked with her father about her inheritance. Maybe they both assumed the other knew what they were thinking.
The Spelling family endured years of pain and court fees due to Tori not understanding and not being able to prepare for her inheritance (or lack of it).
The next piece of advice we give our clients is to talk with their families about their estate plans. It may be a hard conversation, but understanding your parent’s plans for their elder care and death are important.
You don’t want to sound selfish when asking about your inheritance. But understanding your parent’s estate plan will help you prepare for caring for them as they age and know what to expect when they pass. You may assume you’re getting the beach house but could wind up inheriting their debt instead.
It’s easier to prepare for your inheritance when you know what it will be – instead of assuming what will happen after your parents are gone.
Working with a probate and estate planning attorney will help you understand and prepare for your inheritance.
Talk to the experienced probate attorney at the Estate and Probate Legal Group. We can help you understand your inheritance and ensure it is appropriately distributed. Contact us today at 630-864-5835.
AREAS WE SERVE: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties