How to Safeguard an Anna Nicole Smith Inheritance

Physician's Money DigestJanuary31 2004
Volume 11
Issue 2

Wall Street Journal



Today's increasingly complex tax laws can make an inheritance an additional burden for you to bear at a time of grief. Making the wrong financial decision could have irreversible effects. According to a recent article in the , an heir who makes rushed decisions on inherited assets could create devastating tax issues or financial problems. Inherited retirement accounts in particular can create a huge headache because of the complicated rules and potential tax bites. The warns against liquidating an IRA all at once because it could lead to significant income taxes. For example, rolling over an IRA inherited from your parents into your own retirement account or withdrawing it and depositing it into a new account could lead to a huge tax hit if it is not titled properly. Instead, financial advisors suggest you maintain it intact and carefully retitle the IRA as an "inherited IRA" to make it clear to tax authorities that the owner passed away and you are the beneficiary. In a worst case scenario, the recommends turning down the inheritance altogether if you don't need the money, because an inheritance could cause your own estate to be taxable. The following is a list of some companies that offer services geared toward inheritors:

  • Fidelity Investments' Inheritor Services Specialists (800-544-0003)
  • JP Morgan Private Bank (
  • IFF Advisors (
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