Receiving an inheritance creates conflicting emotions for anyone who’s recently lost a loved one. Grief is powerful, and when the pain of a loss is still fresh, it tends to overwhelm all other senses — including those that can give us a more practical perspective.

Often, an inheritance can feel like one of two things:

  • a price put on a person’s life,
  • or money that’s not truly ours, but rather still belongs to the person who passed.

Either way, beneficiaries may feel uncomfortable with the thought of spending an inheritance on themselves.

Should you spend or save your inheritance?

If you’re feeling this way, you are not alone. What may help is to talk with a financial advisor, often considered a financial therapist, a professional who can help you understand your options and work with you to create a plan for using the inheritance in a meaningful way.

Some people prefer to leave the money untouched in an account and avoid it altogether. While this may offer a temporary reprieve from the sadness of your loss, it may prolong the healing process. Rather than moving forward in a positive and productive way, you’re “stuck” with a continual reminder of your grief every time you review your bank statements and realize you haven’t optimized the funds to meet your financial goals.

Your advisor can help you find fulfilling ways to use your inheritance such as:

  • Paying down debt/gifting to family members
  • Saving for a child’s future wedding or downpayment on a house
  • Giving generously to a charity that’s close to your heart
  • Preparing for your retirement

No matter what, don’t feel pressured to decide on what to do with inherited funds right away. It is fine to take some time and think about how you want to use the inheritance. Before making any major decisions, consult with your financial advisor first.

To learn more about how we help dual citizens access and invest an inheritance received from America, go to: to watch a brief video.

Douglas Goldstein, CFP®, GFP®, is the director of Profile Investment Services, Ltd. He is a licensed financial professional both in the U.S. and Israel. Call (02) 624-2788 for a consultation on how to set up your American assets to meet your financial goals. Securities offered through Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. Member FINRA, SIPC, MSRB, FSI. The opinions expressed are those of the author and not those of Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. or its affiliates. Neither PRG nor its affiliates give tax or legal advice.

Published December 20, 2023.

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