Need to find someone to explain my inheritance

ErnieErnie Posts: 38Member
edited February 2013 in Personal Finance
I do not know where to find out this information so I decided to post here as a place to start.

I am receiving an inheritance, divided up between 3 brothers, from a deceased parent in the form of cash, a traditional IRA, and a life insurance policy. I am in the process of receiving the cash and am putting it into a money market account at my credit union. My plan with that is to pay off my debt including car loan but not including student loan (until I can figure out how much will go to taxes), and then just letting that sit for awhile (until I figure out the taxes part). The rest is in the form of an IRA and an insurance policy. All of this is divided up between three brothers. I can't tell how much my portion of the IRA or insurance policy is worth or the total values.

Concerning the IRA my plan is to re-title it in my name but I need help deciphering the documents and making various choices. Not sure what to do with the insurance policy or what my options are and again I need help deciphering the documents. I am an adult working student, 48, and using a government loan to go to school. I am also not set up very well for retirement with only a paltry 401k through my employer. I am wondering if/how I can use the IRA to pay for school while letting it grow or should I use the cash to pay for school while taking income from the IRA so that I can work less and study more or set the IRA up for aggressive growth geared towards retirement? And what other options are there?

Who can I go to to find this stuff out and get help deciphering the documents? I am a member of two credit unions. One offers free financial advice. The company holding the accounts is a bit impatient on the phone so I am wary of calling them with basic questions and feel the same way about seeking advice from a financial planner. I feel like they are going to tell me to go figure it out and come back when I am ready to plan.

Post edited by Unknown User on


  • bradbrad Posts: 4,806Member
    Hmm, when my stepmother died last year we simply liquidated all those assets (had them turned into cash) and each of us received a check instead of getting the IRA and life insurance policy. It seemed a lot simpler to just instruct the companies holding the retirement accounts and insurance policies to liquidate them and deposit the funds into the estate account. If it's not too late, it might be good to discuss this with whoever was the executor of the estate to find out why it was done this way and whether those assets could be liquidated, which I think would be simpler than transferring them to you as they are now. But it might be too late. I can't really offer any help on the details, since I'm no longer familiar with IRAs etc. in the States (I moved to Canada 10 years ago).
  • WateryTartWateryTart Posts: 1,854Member
    It may vary depending on the laws where you live. When my mom died, none of what my sister and I inherited was taxable as it was under a million dollars (Virginia). We hired an estate lawyer as mom didn't have a will, so there was that expense, but it was worth it since we had no idea what needed to be done to settle her estate.
  • ErnieErnie Posts: 38Member
    Yeah I could talk to the executor, my brother, and see what he says about the IRA. I remember him telling me he did not know how the IRA would be distributed. Maybe he knows more now. I think the insurance policy will be cashed out.

    I just keep reading and re-reading the documents and each time understand a little more.
  • KronegKroneg Posts: 174Member
    In most cases, unless something really special/weird is going on, all assets (like the IRA) get liquidated before distribution. For the insurance policy - it's just a cash payout. That's what a policy is - a payout to the recipients upon the insured's death. You should not have any "accounts" to worry about - it should be simple cash(check) payments to you from the executor (your brother) once he receives the payments from the companies involved. Also, unless the amount is huge (the exclusion amount is around $5million right now), you won't owe any taxes on the money received.
  • SatcplSatcpl Posts: 42Member
    Sorry for your lost. If your brother used an estate planing lawyer to handle the probate you can contact him/her for advice. Since the lawyer is already familiar with the estate it should not cost too much.
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