Here's How You Can Manage a Large Cash Inheritance After Loss

Here's How You Can Manage a Large Cash Inheritance After Loss
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Inheriting a significant sum of cash can be both a blessing and a challenge, especially when dealing with the loss of a loved one. While grieving may understandably overshadow immediate concerns, it's important to address the financial implications and take proactive steps to handle the inheritance wisely. From depositing the funds securely to navigating tax implications and making informed financial decisions, here's a comprehensive guide to managing a large cash inheritance.

Image Source: Wera Rodsawang/Getty Images
Cash inheritance: Photo by Wera Rodsawang | Getty Images

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The initial step in handling a cash inheritance is to deposit the funds into a secure account. Opting for a federally insured bank or credit union ensures the safety of the inheritance. While a savings account may suffice for the short term, exploring other investment options for potentially higher returns is advisable. Moreover, certificates of deposit (CDs), money market accounts, or investment portfolios tailored to your risk tolerance and financial goals are worth considering.

Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Liza Summer
Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Liza Summer

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The amount inherited can vary widely depending on various factors, such as the deceased's assets, debts, and any stipulations outlined in their will or estate plan. While cash inheritances typically range from $10,000 to $50,000, the actual sum may differ based on individual circumstances. Also, not all inheritances come in cash form; assets like stocks, real estate, or retirement accounts may need to be liquidated to access cash.

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In most cases, cash inheritances are not subject to federal or state taxes. However, exceptions exist, particularly in states that levy inheritance taxes or for estates surpassing certain thresholds. For instance, six states—namely, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania—impose an inheritance tax.

Pexels | Photo by Karolina Grabowska
Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Karolina Grabowska

Additionally, federal and state estate taxes may apply if the total value of inherited assets exceeds specified thresholds. Consulting with a tax professional can provide clarity on potential tax obligations and strategies to mitigate them.

Once the inheritance is secured, making prudent financial decisions becomes paramount. Paying off high-interest debts, such as credit card balances or student loans, can provide immediate financial relief. However, evaluating the interest rates on existing debts and weighing the benefits of debt repayment against potential investment opportunities is essential. For instance, if you have a mortgage with a low-interest rate, allocating the inheritance towards investments with higher potential returns may be more advantageous.

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A qualified advisor can help develop a personalized financial plan tailored to your goals and priorities. Whether it involves setting up college savings accounts for children, planning for retirement, or diversifying investment portfolios, a professional advisor can offer valuable insights and expertise.

Instead of leaving the funds idling in a savings account, consider opportunities for real estate investment, stock market participation, or starting a business venture. However, conduct thorough research and seek professional advice to mitigate risks and maximize returns.

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