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Inheritance Planning: How to Prepare for Meeting with a Financial Advisor

Inheriting money is an impactful event and can feel overwhelming when coupled with the grief and emotions of the moment. You may feel uncertain and anxious about moving forward with any financial decisions, but you may also feel that you have a responsibility to make the most of this profound gift you’ve been given. 

Give yourself a chance to breathe and process this challenging season. When you’re ready, you may want to meet with a financial advisor, who can help you make informed decisions regarding the management of your inheritance. The gift of an inheritance can significantly shape you and your family’s financial future, and seeking the guidance of a financial advisor can help you navigate the complexities of inheritance planning.

How do you prepare for such an important meeting? There are five steps you can follow to help guide you:

  1. Assess your financial situation.
  2. Understand your inheritance.
  3. Set your financial goals.
  4. Organize your documents.
  5. Prepare questions to ask your financial advisor.

1. Assess Your Financial Situation

What is your current financial situation? Take a look at your overall financial picture – make a list of all your assets, investments, and debts so you can establish a comprehensive view of your financial situation for your financial advisor. It can be helpful to make note of your income and expenses, too; your saving and spending habits can also give your financial advisor a better understanding of your finances.

You can also review your existing investment portfolios and retirement accounts, to see if there are any areas you’d like to make adjustments or enhancements based on your changed circumstances. 

2. Understand Your Inheritance

An inheritance can consist of several different asset types – cash, investments, retirement accounts, life insurance, real estate, and personal property. Try to get as many details as possible about the assets you’ve inherited to share with your financial advisor.

You should read through and familiarize yourself with any legal documents related to your inheritance, such as a will, estate, or trust documents. These documents can give additional insight into your financial responsibilities and rights to the assets you’ve inherited.

It’s important to consider the tax implications associated with your inheritance; the different asset types each have their own tax considerations. Taxes can have a significant impact on the money you’ve inherited, and you should be aware of the current tax laws so that you can not only ensure you’re compliant with regulations, but also potentially minimize your tax liabilities.

3. Set Your Financial Goals

An inheritance can shift your financial goals or timeline in your financial plan, and present an opportunity to further grow your wealth. Revisit your goals before you meet with your financial advisor, and ask yourself: What are your financial goals now that your circumstances have changed? What is the potential impact your inheritance will have on your lifestyle, your aspirations, and your legacy?

Establish your short-term and long-term goals, and what you hope to achieve now and in the future. Think about your estate plan, and what you hope to pass on to your heirs. Articulate and define your goals, so that you can share this information with your financial advisor. A complete understanding of your present and future goals enables your financial advisor to tailor a financial plan that meets your specific needs and objectives.

4. Organize Your Documents

Gather all the documents and paperwork related to your inheritance, and have them organized and ready to share with your financial advisor. These documents can include bank statements, investment or financial statements, life insurance policy information, or deeds; collect any legal paperwork or documents as well.

If you’ve written down an analysis of your financial situation and a list of your goals, bring them with you to your meeting with your financial advisor. Having everything on paper will give your financial advisor a clearer picture of your circumstances and what you hope to achieve.

5. Prepare Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisor.

Your initial meeting with your financial advisor is your chance to ask any questions you may have about financial planning and inheritance planning, and see if your advisor is the right fit for you. It’s helpful to have a list of questions prepared in advance.

You should feel comfortable voicing any uncertainty or doubts you may have – you want to be confident in your financial decisions and who you choose as your financial advisor. Having the right financial advisor in your corner to guide you will help you make the most of your wealth. 

Ask about their experience in managing inherited wealth, and if they have the expertise and knowledge for your unique situation. Discuss their approach to risk management and investment diversification, so you can ensure their strategies align with your specific risk tolerance and objectives. 

Open communication is an essential part of any relationship with a financial advisor. Will your financial advisor be accessible? Ask if you can reach them when needed, whether it’s to address any concerns, check-in and track your progress, or make adjustments to your financial plan as your financial situation evolves.

Most importantly, ask questions to make sure you have a clear understanding of their fees, specific services, and overall financial planning process. Your advisor should be fully transparent and establish these expectations from the very beginning of your relationship.

Explore Inheritance Strategies with Legacy Planning

The gift of an inheritance enables you to create opportunities and a legacy for you and your family, and your financial advisor should work together with you to help you grow, protect, and preserve your wealth. Whether it’s restructuring your investments, establishing a trust, or addressing the tax implications of your inheritance, your financial advisor should be knowledgeable in inheritance strategies that will help you achieve your objectives.

At Legacy Planning, we understand the intricacies of inheritance planning, and we have the experience to guide you on your journey. We collaborate closely with you to develop a customized financial and investment plan that incorporates your inherited assets. We’ll help you create an inheritance strategy with specific needs and objectives in mind. 

To see if we can help you with your inheritance planning, click here to schedule a conversation today.

Content in this material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.


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