When someone uses financial planning services to transfer money or assets to beneficiaries, that is a wealth transfer. Many people believe that in the United States we will see a great wealth transfer as Baby Boomers age and leave money for those who are younger. “The impact of inheritance” on Vox.com ponders whether the anticipated wealth transfer will be enough to help a number of Americans maintain middle-class status.
Author Meredith Haggerty writes, “….a transfer of wealth can be a lot of things: freeing and stifling, a relief and a burden, a windfall and a pitfall. It depends on one’s circumstances, which is really just to say that it depends on a person’s family, and their money.” She interviews a number of people who have inherited money and/or assets and finds that their emotions surrounding this gain are more complicated than one would imagine. In some cases, people feel guilty about their inherited wealth. In other instances, no matter how the person may feel, the additional assets create strain because of the complex tax laws in the United States.
For example, Haggerty spoke with a tax professional who concluded that one of the women interviewed for the story had misinterpreted how tax law applied to her situation. By agreeing to be interviewed for the story, the woman gained access to knowledge she might not have had otherwise. The writer was seeking an expert opinion to add in her reporting. However, she also understands that people like the woman she interviewed who had inherited a house with her siblings might be reluctant to seek expert help if they believed that it would be costly.
Please do not try to figure out how to handle an inheritance on your own. Find a way to get expert advice. Even if the person who left you money or property had expert estate planning assistance, you will also need expert help to manage your inheritance. A Fee-Only financial planner can aid you. If you feel a lot of emotions about being a beneficiary, you could use the neutral counsel of a financial advisor who does not receive commissions for their recommendations.