Are you expecting to receive an inheritance from a recently deceased family member or loved one? If so, there are several fundamental facts you should get acquainted with right away. Although Inheritance Advanced may seem complex, grasping the basics can help you make sense of the inheritance process and get through this time without too many legal or financial complications. Whether you’ve been formally designated a beneficiary through a written will or you automatically became the beneficiary due to local laws, it’s important to know what you should and should not expect from receiving an inheritance. Here are the critical facts that can help you make it through this process.
1. If There Is No Will, Courts May Determine Beneficiaries for Various Assets
One important factor to check when you’re informed that you’re the beneficiary for an inheritance is whether your loved one left behind a written will or not. In many cases, where there is no will, courts fall back on the automatic legal designations for inheritances. These laws vary by locality, but will generally include spouses or close relatives, such as children, at the front of the line for an inheritance. Keep in mind that the assets that could be automatically designated to you could include a wide variety of property types, including:
- Real estate
- Personal property
- Family heirlooms and precious items
2. If There Is a Will, Designated Beneficiaries Will Receive the Estate
If, on the other hand, your loved one has left behind a will, you may find yourself on the receiving end of whatever aspects of their estate were specified in the will. While an estate can include personal property, it may also extend to include assets such as:
- Stocks and bonds
- Real estate
- Cash endowments
3. Some Inheritances May Specify Lump Sums Versus Small Installments and More
Another important aspect to inquire about once you’re notified that you’ll be receiving an inheritance is the structural setup of the inheritance. Depending on the type of assets being transferred to you, the structure could vary significantly. For example, in the case of cash endowments, you could either receive a lump sum payment up front or receive the money spread out across a designated period of time in small installments. In many cases, this structure will have been legally set out in a will beforehand. Make sure you check to avoid confusion later on.
4. You Can Use Your Inheritance for Numerous Purposes
Finally, once you receive the full inheritance, it’s time to start thinking about what you want to do with the assets. If you inherited a house, for example, you could choose to keep it, live in it or even sell it off. If you inherited a cash endowment, it’s important to avoid squandering it and to put it to good use instead. Some productive ideas for this type of inheritance could include:
- Paying off a mortgage or putting a down payment on a house
- Bulking up savings or retirement funds
- Covering the cost of university tuition
Handling the inheritance process can be difficult, especially if this is your first time as the beneficiary of an inheritance left to you by a loved one. However, by understanding how the process works and what you can and cannot realistically expect, you may be able to weather the process without any legal or financial trip-ups. Check whether you were designated a beneficiary automatically or through a will, inquire about the structure of the inheritance and start thinking about what you might do with it once it’s transferred to you. By moving through these steps, you can simplify the inheritance process.