receive an inheritance

What would be your first reaction if you received an inheritance?  

When a client received an inheritance from her elderly aunt, she told me: 

“I thought she was going to leave everything to my cousin. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that any of it would come to me. Although the extra money will come in useful, I don’t know what to do with it! I spend my nights worrying about whether I should invest it or if I can spend any of it.” 

You are not alone

This client’s anxiety about what to do with an inheritance is not unusual. Strange as it may sound, many people who receive an inheritance or windfall worry about losing their new assets, and this fear paralyzes them. Other people go to the opposite extreme and spend it all without a second thought. 

Another common problem that inheritors face is when other people somehow find out about their new wealth and want some of it. In the same conversation, my client told me: 

“When a distant cousin heard that I’d been included in my aunt’s will, he called me up for the first time in over 20 years and begged me for a sizable loan to start a new business. What do I tell him? It’s hard to say no to family.” 

Get some answers

Since people often ask me questions on what they should do after they receive an inheritance, I created a 20-minute online webinar called, “How to Invest an Inheritance.” The webinar addresses the following points: 

  • What should be your initial response when you find out about your sudden windfall? 
  • When and how should you invest the money? 
  • What to do if you are approached for requests for loans or gifts. 

Register for the free webinar at to find out more. 

Douglas Goldstein, CFP®, is the Director of Profile Investment Service, Ltd., which specializes in helping people who live in Israel with their US dollar assets and American investment and retirement accounts. He helps olim meet their financial goals through asset allocation, financial planning, and using money managers.

Published March 27, 2017. Updated February 2021

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