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California Probate, Will & Trust Lawyer > Blog > Probate > A Guide on What To Do With an Inheritance

A Guide on What To Do With an Inheritance


You may be wondering what to do next if you recently inherited a large sum of money from a deceased loved one. If you recently received an inheritance, it is crucial that you act slowly and strategically. You need to consider the implications of your actions before making any decisions. In this article, we share some steps you can follow if you recently received an inheritance.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is for informational purposes only. It is not professional advice.

Take Time to Grieve Your Loss

You are probably not thinking clearly enough because you just lost someone dear to you. You are likely feeling confused, angry, and overwhelmed. The last thing you want to do is make a major decision right away. Any decision you make at this time will be based on emotions and might not be the best one. For instance, do not sell your home or quit your job just yet. It is advisable that you take time to mourn, and then when you are ready, you can plan what to do with your inheritance.

Build a Team of Professionals

After receiving an inheritance, you can expect people to tell you what you should do with it. It is crucial that you avoid listening to people. Instead, build a team of qualified professionals who can help you make the right decisions. Depending on the kind of inheritance in question, the following are some of the professionals you may want to talk to;

  • Certified public accountant
  • Estate planning lawyer
  • Tax Attorney
  • Real estate agent
  • Investment professional

Be Aware of Tax Ramifications

If you have received an inheritance, you want to ensure you are aware of all tax ramifications of any decision you make around the inherited assets. For example, you may be required to pay a capital gains tax if you sell your inherited gift. Additionally, your inherited money could be taxed depending on where you reside.


Experts recommend assigning your inheritance to specific purposes or goals. According to experts, one of the things you should do after receiving an inheritance is save. Saving entails beefing up your emergency fund and saving for big goals. Experts recommend having three to six months’ worth of expenses in your emergency fund so you can be covered in the event something unexpected like a job loss happens. Regarding saving for big goals, an example of something to do after getting an inheritance is putting money towards a college fund.


Another thing that experts recommend doing after receiving an inheritance is investing. One option is investing in your retirement. For example, you can consider funding your 401(k). The following are other investment options you can consider;

  • Mutual funds
  • Individual stocks
  • Index funds
  • Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
  • Bonds
  • Real estate investment trusts (REITs)

It is advisable to consult a financial advisor before investing in anything.

Pay Off Debts

Finally, when deciding what to do with an inheritance, paying off debt is something you should highly consider. Paying debt can help you save on substantial interest charges.

Contact the Probate Guy for Legal Help

If you recently lost a loved one and need to speak to a probate attorney, contact the dedicated California probate attorney, Robert L. Cohen – The Probate Guy – today to schedule a telephonic consultation.

Southern California Probate Lawyer Serving Orange, Riverside, Anaheim, Whittier & Beyond.

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I love being a probate attorney. I love helping people through a very difficult time in their lives with the probate process. My practice focuses solely on probate matters. My job is to complete the probate process as efficiently and painlessly for my clients as possible. I have found that paying the upfront costs of probate adds unneeded stress, so I will advance all of the fees and costs for the probate. No money is required to complete the probate. I will be reimbursed at the end of the case when you receive your inheritance. Call me NOW to discuss your case for free.

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