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April 24, 2007


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Is that amount of inheritance the total estate, or the amount that the average beneficiary receives.

If its the total estate, that means an awful lot of people are leaving close to nothing.

If its per beneficiary, then I wonder if it includes all the smaller inheritances, or just the major ones. If either of my parents die I wouldn't be expecting a great deal, because I have several siblings, so should there be any residue, it'll have to be split many ways.

The beneficiary of an inheritance is by no means "first in line" to receive the assets of a deceased person -- that distinction falls first and foremost to the deceased person's creditors -- and here, it is the final weeks and months that often determine whether there are any inheritable assets at all. With most insurance coverage, the cost of terminal medical, hospital, nursing home, and hospice service is still enormous, and during this unpredictable final period the assets of a deceased person can become more-or-less depleted.

I have a 22-year-old friend who received a $5 million inheritance. It's in a trust fund with conditional access until she turns 40, where she will have unlimited access.

Me? I figure a $37,700 inheritance would be nice, but I'm not expecting any, just as I'm not expecting any SS benefits.

My parents have already made it clear that their inheritance will be split between the grandkids. They figure that by now, their OWN kids should be comfortable financially. Some are, some aren't, but an inheritance won't change their money spending/saving habits at this point in the game.
As for dh's "inheritance"....his mom just cashed in most of her 401K funds to support (yet again) dh's brother. It's called enabling, but she doesn't seem to get it.
I don't really care, because I don't NEED her money. It's hers to do what she wants with. I'm glad we aren't depending on it, that's for sure.

I am shocked that the median inheritance is that large. I suspect they are counting only those with estates large enough to leave an inheritances with the vast majority leaving nothing or so little it goes uncounted. In California, nothing under $100k goes though probate.

That is, if the titles are set up and no real property is involved.

F. Morana's comment above about the final period of life being a huge asset drain is far too true for far too many people in my experience. I have lost count of the number of families I have talked to who have said things like "I thought mom was pretty well off, but..." or "if dad hadn't had to have home health care those last 8 months..."

Just another reason not to fall into the 'buy term life insurance, invest the difference' trap. The permanent coverage will step in and pay off all those bills or at least replace what would have been the inheritance (and the life insurance money avoids both taxes and probate, as well).

One thing that hasn't been mentioned by anyone yet....The type of person who counts on receiving an inheritance usually blows the money....just as lottery winners usually blow all their winnings within a few years.

I know of one man in San Francisco who received over 700K inheritance from an ex boyfriend of his who died. He blew all the money within 5 or 6 years on gambling in Reno and buying a lot of useless junk. And this is a guy who was HIV+ who was still working for a living but was on the brink of bankruptcy because of his horrible spending habits. He could have lived off the interest of the municipal bonds and spend his last years of life in relative comfort. But instead, he's going to be a ward of the welfare state.

This is an extreme example, but I think it is safe to say that most of us find it easier to blow money we didn't earn than money we worked for and saved on our own.

I recently found out my late uncle left me 15.5 million dollars. What is the amount of taxes I would have to pay on such amount?

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