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Old 01-01-2008, 12:51 PM   #21
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FYI: Receiving an Inheritance
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Old 01-01-2008, 02:47 PM   #22
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I think you should consider that you each got a $12k increase in salary before taxes. Behave accordingly.
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Old 01-01-2008, 06:44 PM   #23
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Lots of good advice so far. I second a park it until you figure out what to do with it attitude. Handling the money is just one part of the deal however. There are all sorts of social and psychological changes that go along with inheriting a large some of money. Doing a little reading about sudden wealth and what to do when you inherit will save you from making a lot of costly mistakes and will help you handle the changes that you will encounter from friends and relatives. Everyone has an idea bout what they would do if they inherited a lot of money. Most would love to live vicariously through you, at least that is what DH and I found when we inherited enough to retire on. Best not to spread the news too widely.
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Old 01-01-2008, 07:00 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by bayfritz View Post
Unclear on what is the best avenue to shelter.
First, rip the section on Divorce Lawyers out of the yellow pages.
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Old 01-02-2008, 06:57 AM   #25
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The answer is yes if you want to get a divorce. One must never commingle the money in a joint account ever. That is, if you get a check for the inheritance do not deposit into a joint checking account with the intention of then transferring to an account solely in your name. In a community property state, I think the earnings from such an account become joint property, so never reinvest dividends and distributions back into the account. If you do that the account now is commingled. So you will want to invest in something that will have alot of unrealized capital gains like a index fund of stocks and take the distributions in cash and put them in another account.

My spouse inherited some money when her mom died. I will admit here that I was miffed when her sisters suggested that she keep the inheritance separate from our joint assets. This is because I have provided tons of money to the family by working for many, many years. Should my salary be kept separate as well? Nowadays I earn about twice what my spouse does. If she had kept the inheritance separate, I would have found a way to create a separate account of my own of equal value. Most of the money ended up in 529 plans for our kids.

It's easy to comment when you haven't been there. Since I"ve been there, I'm commenting anyways.

My wife has already told the lawyers to distribute the assets in a tax free joint MM account until we figure out the best long term avenue. I am curious as to why we would want to keep this seperate. What is the rationale?
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:30 AM   #26
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My wife has already told the lawyers to distribute the assets in a tax free joint MM account until we figure out the best long term avenue. I am curious as to why we would want to keep this seperate. What is the rationale?
You did the right thing. There is no need to make it separate, IMHO.
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:14 AM   #27
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I agree. My husband was the one who inherited the money. There was never any thought about keeping it separate. Our attitude is that in this marriage everything goes into and comes out of the same pot. It works for us.
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Old 01-02-2008, 01:05 PM   #28
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When I came into a windfall, I received some good advice that I like to pass on.

Put the money in a safe place, like Vanguard's Prime Money Market account, and take as much as a year to decide what to do with it.

With that amount of money, Vanguard will also offer you a financial plan for free, based on your goals and objectives.

This question comes up periodically on a website I like, diehards.org, which is a forum for people interested in low cost investing, mostly at Vanguard.
I know T Rowe Price will offer a similar planning service for free. I think some issues to think about:

1) goals- what are you trying to do financially?
2) risks- what risks are you comfortable taking or not taking with money? What would bother you the most if it did not work out financially?
3) people- what other people are around you (kids, spouse, other) which might maninpulate this?
for example- if you have kids age 5-10, consider gifting around 15k to each kid, investing, and using this to teach them about money. If kids are aged 10-18, consider a college account for them. Maybe you had a financial plan which did not include college funds for kids, where as now that can happen.

Before you read how to invest, you need to do some internal searching for what you want out of life financially, IMO.
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