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Temper Expectations if You are Left an Inheritance

Let’s say you’re in your 40s and your parents are in declining health. Over the past few months, they are spending more time in the hospital and the diagnoses continue to get bleaker. You know that, at some point in the near future, you will have to say goodbye.

What happens after that goodbye can be messy and complicated. It doesn’t have to be; but all too often, it is. You and your fellow family members are sad, and you may not know what to do, or what the next step is. One of the things you will have to deal with is your parents’ estate.

Now, you may have this idea in your head as to what your slice of the estate will look like. Maybe you think you’ll get a nice inheritance. But the fact of the matter is, your hopes for your inheritance are likely far loftier than the reality.

For example, many parents choose to give away a sizeable chunk (if not all) of their estate to charity or other organizations rather than their children. There are many reasons this may happen, but it serves as a reminder that no inheritance is a guarantee.

It is also important to consider the fact that the median inheritance, according to one survey, is between $50,000 and $100,000. That’s nothing to scoff at, but it also isn’t the unending fortune that many people may picture when they think of their inheritance.

Ultimately, this is merely a reminder to temper your expectations when it comes to your inheritance, if you get one.

Source: Kansas City Star, “Kids and Money: If you plan to leave an inheritance, manage expectations,” Steve Rosen, Oct. 14, 2013

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