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Three things to do when you receive an inheritance

Managing an inheritance can be stressful. While most people are glad to inherit valuable property or large sums of money, the responsibility and decision-making that come with it can be daunting. That's especially true if you aren't accustomed to managing large accounts or properties.

One of the first things you should do when you inherit something -- especially something of large value -- is take some time to really understand the situation. Likely, you are receiving these assets because you lost someone you know and love. Don't make decisions about those assets when you might be making them out of grief or anger. You might want to talk to an estate law professional right away to make sure that you don't have to take immediate action. Then you can hold off on any other activity until you've had time to collect your thoughts.

Next, you might want to hire someone to help you with the estate or inheritance. Professionals you might consider range from an attorney to help with legal issues to accountants or financial advisers who can help you invest assets.

Finally, create a plan of action and goals for the assets. If you've always wanted to own a home, can the inheritance help with that dream? Do you want to fund schooling, try a new career, open a business or travel? These are all types of things you might do with an inheritance. You might also consider saving some of the money for the future or for retirement.

One mistake many people make when managing an inheritance is that they spend too much too soon and find themselves left with very little in a few years. By getting trusted, experienced professional advice, you can learn your options and make smart decisions.

Source: CNN Money, "Managing an inheritance," Gerri Willis, accessed Sep. 02, 2016

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