Dealing with the Burden of Inheritance

Physician's Money Digest, April 2007, Volume 14, Issue 4

Wall Street Journal

Journal

Journal

Today's increasingly complex tax lawscan make an inheritance an additional burdenfor you to bear at a time of grief.Making the wrong financial decision couldhave irreversible effects. According to arecent article in the ,an heir who makes rushed decisions oninherited assets could create devastatingtax issues or financial problems. Inheritedretirement accounts in particular can createa huge headache because of the complicatedrules and potential tax bites. Thewarns against liquidating an IRAall at once because it could lead to significantincome taxes. For example, rollingover an IRA inherited from your parentsinto your own retirement account or withdrawingit and depositing it into a newaccount could lead to a huge tax hit if it isnot titled properly. Instead, financial advisorssuggest you maintain it intact andcarefully retitle the IRA as an "inheritedIRA" to make it clear to tax authorities thatthe owner passed away and you are thebeneficiary. In a worst-case scenario, therecommends turning down theinheritance altogether if you don't needthe money, because an inheritance couldcause your own estate to be taxable. Thefollowing is a list of some companies thatoffer services geared toward inheritors:

  • Fidelity Investments' Inheritor ServicesSpecialists (800-544-0003)
  • Sudden Money Institute (www.suddenmoney.com)
  • JP Morgan Private Bank (www.jpmorgan.com/privatebank)
  • Sowing Seeds (www.sowingseeds.com)
  • IFF Advisors (www.iffadvisors.com)
  • Heirs, Inc. (www.heirs.net)
  • Irahelp.com