Inheritance - 5 Steps to Balance the Heart & Brain

Peter Katevatis - Aug 03, 2016
When a loved one passes away it is an emotional time.  All the memories of your past together come flooding back - the good and the not-so good.  Grieving is an important step and everyone processes these emotions differently taking different timelin

When a loved one passes away it is an emotional time.  All the memories of your past together come flooding back - the good and the not-so good.  Grieving is an important step and everyone processes these emotions differently taking different timelines to go through the process.  Ultimately though, we all return to the “new normal” moving forward with our lives.

 

Inheritance - 5 Steps to Balance the Heart & Brain

 

In many families, the family wealth is tied up in assets held by the patriarch/matriarch of the family.  When they eventually do pass on, a large sum of money can change hands.  Assuming everything goes smoothly with the will, Executor, and Beneficiaries there tends to be two problems for most people:

  • What is the best use of my inheritance?
  • Is it wrong to feel happy about this windfall?

As a financial professional we tend to only talk about the numbers.  However, my experience has been that a conversation about feelings will give you more insight into the individual’s needs and then lead to better advice.  Here are 5 steps you can take to help you take the proper path:

  1. Deal with your feelings first
    • No need to rush decisions when you are emotional
  2. Identify your personal goals
    • List everything from “pay off debt” to “book a cruise”
  3. Build a Plan – ask for help if needed
    • If your children need an education fund, top up the RESP
    • If you are behind in your retirement plans, add to the RRSP
    • If you want to “pay it forward” to your beneficiaries, explore your estate plan
  4. Execute the Plan – building it is nice, but you need to act. Many people fall short on action.
  5. Do something special that means something to you

 

The 5th step is often the most fulfilling.  It can give you closure with your grief as you truly thank your donor for the inheritance.  As I work with individuals putting their estate plans together I can assure you, they want their benefactors to be happy.  They want their lives to be celebrated, not mourned. 

 

My personal plan involves a parade to celebrate my life, but no clowns… that’s creepy.