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Inheritance surprise? Here's what to do with it

You weren't expecting to receive an inheritance when your grandparents passed away, but you found yourself being told that one was going to be coming to you. You were shocked at the amount of money that had been left behind for you, just as you were surprised to find that you were left your grandparents' family home.

These are expensive, high-value assets. You want to make sure you do the right thing with the inheritance so that you can better your own life and respect the wishes of your grandparents. What should you do?

The first step is to sit down and think through what you want to do. Don't make major decisions right away, because you could find that those decisions don't pan out well in the long-term.

A good plan is to sit down and make a list of goals, and then assess the best ways to use the inheritance. If you're young, paying off debt and investing the inheritance could be a great path to success. If you're older, using this to boost your retirement fund or to eliminate your mortgage could be a great idea.

You should also sit down with your attorney and discuss tax obligations and other financial impacts of accepting and using the inheritance. You want to take steps to limit your tax liability in any way you can so that you can keep as much of the inheritance as possible.

Finally, you also need to make certain that all of the proper steps are followed during probate and any transfers of any real property that you inherited, such as a house are complete -- so that there are no unpleasant surprises with the title down the line. This may also include resolving any disputes over the nature of the will or your inheritance rights.

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