Have you made plans for what you would do with any inheritance you might receive from your parents’ estates when they die? It’s not the most pleasant subject to think about frequently, but every now and then I come back to it. I haven’t sat down with my parents to have an in-depth conversation about it, but it has come up. My parents are not yet elderly, but they’ve already made significant preparations for their senior years. I’m sure they have wills, too.
Let me make clear that I’m not discussing this because I’m interested in the material gain. No! I just want to make sure that I’m taking the best care of what they’ve been able to leave behind. After all, they’ve done it to help support me, and I want to make sure I honor that. On the other hand, they’ve also been planning to help out financially more while they’re still alive since that’s the easier way to do it.
What about your own parents? Are they making plans to leave money behind? Have you sat down and talked with them about it?
Personally, whatever finances they leave, I’d want to make sure that it goes to the best use. I’m just not sure yet what that best use would be. A savings account? Invest in semi-secure stocks? Bonds? Pay off a mortgage? What’s the best way to use the money that would do the most honor to my parents and also preserve itself, so that it may also grow?
Here are a few of the options I’ve thought of. This is all based on my financial situation at the moment, of course – in twenty or so years, it could be quite different. It seems as though there are four basic options:
Saving their money would keep it secure and in a proper high-interest account would ensure some degree of modest appreciation. The question here, again, is when to spend it, if ever? What to save it for? Should I even bother treating their wealth as though it is some representation of them, their life, how hard they worked? Is that a debasement of their memory, or an honoring of it?
This reminds me of the Biblical parable (I’m sorry I forget the book) wherein there are three brothers who have been entrusted with some talents whilst the father goes on leave. Only one of the brothers invests his talents, and it is he who is praised because he tried to make the most of the money. Is this what I should do? What you would do? I can think of some blue-chip dividend stocks to invest it in, but then what to do with the dividends? I suppose I could let the money accumulate in a DRIP. But then again, when to ever spend it? What’s the exit strategy? My parents would probably like to see me keep it for my own retirement.
Pay off debts?
This might provide good short-term benefits and leverage, but the money would disappear. I don’t think I’d be in such a dire debt situation in twenty years that I would need to take this option. I don’t think I’d be able to let myself, either! Perhaps the only way I could see myself taking this option is if I used it to pay off my mortgage and I continued to rent out a room and take in extra cashflow that way. Cashflow that could ultimately be used to buy another house and rent it out.
Buy something you really need?
Wouldn’t this be the worst way to deal with an inheritance? Unless one used some of the money for something like planting trees in their memory, perhaps. Or giving some of it away to charity (but then, if they’d wanted to do that with their estate, they could have stated that in their own will). I don’t think I’d ever go with this, except perhaps in my own senior years, in order to travel or something and enjoy real living the way they would have liked to too.
What are your own ideas – have I left anything out? Is this a morbid issue to be thinking about like this? I bring it up because of a comment I just read on another blog about someone running through some inheritance money, and it made me shudder for a moment. I’ve thought about this before, too. It would be great to hear others’ thoughts on it.Related Posts
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