Protecting Your Inheritance
Being left money by a family member or a loved one can be a tremendous help for most of us, especially if it is a substantial amount. However, if you expect that you might be left something in a parent or family member’s will, you shouldn’t simply assume that you will get it. It may become necessary to fight for it.
Know what you stand to gain
The topic of what you might inherit from a loved one might seem like a gauche one to broach. However, being kept in the dark can be even more trouble for you down the line. Sometimes, a statement of wishes (the recorded intention of the estate holder’s wishes at the time) can be used as evidence that a will was manipulated or changed unfairly. As such, if your parent or loved one mentions a will with your inheritance, it’s a good idea to ask them what you are being left and to make a record of the conversion.
Anticipating a fight
If there is a sizeable inheritance being left behind and some family members or other parties might think they have a claim to more of it than they get, it might be a good idea to anticipate that trouble.
If you anticipate any trouble or, similarly, if you have any reason to believe a will was unfairly changed to reduce your inheritance, you may want to hire an estate litigation specialist. The will does not always have the final say on who gets what, and you may need to make your case legally to ensure that you get what you should.
Ensuring that you get all of your inheritance is one thing, but getting the worth of that inheritance is another. It may be that your loved one has left some assets to you, and you would rather get the monetary worth of those assets.
This can be done with the help of an estate liquidator, though you should anticipate that they will take a cut of the worth of the assets, too. You do have the option of selling the assets that you inherit yourself, but you don’t have the experience that a liquidator would bring, so it’s important to be careful.
Watch out for the taxman
It’s not just other claimants that might try to take some of your inheritance away from you. There are taxes on inheritance that can differ depending on where you live, so sometimes you may need to take strategies to cut down the taxman’s cut. This can be done by, for instance, putting your money into a trust or by giving away some of the money. Charitable giving is a way to get a deduction on some of your taxes.
No one wants to spend any time fighting over the money left behind by a departed loved one. However, there may be occasions when another will try to take the inheritance rightfully yours, and simply letting them is rarely an option. As such, you should keep the tips above in mind.