Generally speaking, the size of an inheritance determines how much help you will need. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to hire professionals if they will require a large portion of an already humble inheritance. On the other hand, if you receive a large sum, real estate, a 401(k), IRA, collectibles, antiques, stock certificates and bonds, then you’ll want a lot more help.
It may be more important than you know to avoid announcing your new wealth. Money can create surprising changes in relationships. You may find yourself besieged with unsolicited investment pitches or business opportunities. Friends and neighbors may become resentful or expect you to ‘pick up the tab’ now. If word gets around, you may be inviting fraud or theft.
Even other family members are not immune and may not need to know specifics. In fact, it is not uncommon for parents to leave different amounts to each child. Unless you know for a fact that your siblings received the same amount, it might be a good idea to keep the details private.
There are some time-sensitive issues that a financial advisor or CPA can identify, but for the most part, it is suggested to avoid making any major decisions in the near future. Resist the urge to go out and purchase new toys or expensive gifts. If applicable, avoid the temptation to resign from your place of employment - or at least stick around for a while as you consider your options.
Remember, an inheritance is not an ongoing income and will run out eventually. The best move may be investing in your retirement or paying off high-interest debt rather than making any lifestyle changes. Inheriting a lump sum of wealth can carry strong emotions. Often times, beneficiaries have difficulty thinking clearly and will later look back in surprise at some of their choices.