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182

In any instance where your hackles are raised about a possible scam, but you have reason to move forward regardless, approach with caution, and complete whatever due diligence you can, without direct contact from the potential scammers. ie: if they've given you a phone number in the letter, don't call that number to confirm legitimacy. Instead, Google the ...


158

Nobody legit will ever ask you for money to give you money. If there is a million dollar inheritance and it costs $1,000 to get the money to you, someone legit will take $1,000 from the inheritance and give $999,000 to you.


153

To close this out, in fact it wasn't a scam, despite the third letter. The contact details in the second letter checked out against the Law Society website, so I gave them a ring on their general contact number. The "out of office reply followed by silence" was simply because someone had forgotten to change their message from "I'm out of the office at ...


87

I was contacted by a private bank overseas to get my inheritance Umm, sorry - but no, you weren't. You were contacted by a scam artist who is banking on your greed outweighing your common sense. Inheritance & deceased estates don't work that way. The executors of the estate may be able to deduct some of their costs from the estate, but that's done ...


81

Is your name on your account at all? If yes, you go to the bank tomorrow morning, open an account in your name, and move all the money over. Then tell your company to change their payments to the new account. After that, you explain to your wife. This is madness. (I’d recommend the same to your wife if a member of your family was on that account). If your ...


63

Consider the difference between this situation and that of a student financing their education through loans. The size of this inheritance is more than sufficient for a student to graduate from a 4-year university debt free, as opposed to with debt of $30k or more (depends on the school, obviously). I would strongly recommend the student finish their ...


55

Typically a trust is the solution to this. You set up a trust fund, and either fund it with money now, or (more likely, in your situation given your income) make it the beneficiary of a life insurance policy. The trust would invest in something with a reasonable return; say assume 3% to be safe. So you'd need £24,000 per year, so you need at least £800,...


53

No, you don't need to take a mortgage - if you have enough cash (or other assets) to pay your sister her share, or if she is willing to take it in installments over the next years. Mortgages are not needed to buy houses, but to pay for them - subtle difference. If you can pay - in whichever agreed way - without a mortgage, you won't need one.


49

Well, we need to know a lot more info, since where your mom lives will have an impact on what assets are at risk, but the general answer is yes, the assets of the estate are at risk, since your dad was 100% responsible for the debt. (This is what being a co-signer means.) Removing his name from it would require the agreement of the card issuers and given ...


41

Also, my wealth manager doesn't like to discuss my money with me. To some extent, I understand this because finances are not my forte This is akin to porn surfing all day at your job instead of writing code, fire him ASAP. For now I would stick it in a bank account until you are comfortable and understand the investments you are purchasing. Here are ...


35

The basic optimization rule on distributing windfalls toward debt is to pay off the highest interest rate debt first putting any extra money into that debt while making minimum payments to the other creditors. If the 5k in "other debt" is credit card debt it is virtually certain to be the highest interest rate debt. Pay it off immediately. Don't wait for ...


32

In some jurisdictions you can donate the development rights. You and the family still own it, but nothing can ever be built on it. In some cases you will still be able to build a cabin or similar structure on a few acres, but the bulk has to be left natural. The advantage is that by giving away the logging or other development rights the land loses much of ...


31

You say that you inherited the money from your mother, and are now paying these people using money that is already yours. Because of that, the money is considered a gift from you to them, and the fact that you are doing it in accordance with your mother's wishes doesn't change that. For it to be considered a bequest from your mother's estate directly to ...


31

There are some issues with this plan: you have to trust they will do what you want with the money. you have to hope that they won't need it. you hope that the presence of this investment fund doesn't impact their ability to get Medicaid coverage for their long term care needs. they have to die first. you have to trust that their end of life documents don't ...


30

Owing money to family members can create serious problems. Taking out a purchase-money mortgage to pay your sister for her share is the best way to avoid future friction and, possibly, outright alienation.


29

First, the young man needs advice from a certified financial planner. This includes determining how much of the inheritance will actually be his after any taxes or penalties, what withdrawal restrictions may apply because it is from a retirement account, how the young man could use it to jump-start his own retirement fund, etc. While the personal loss is ...


28

Can those assets in whole or in part be seized in any unfortunate events? If the vehicle is used by your wife primarily, then it is likely not at risk. The bank account is, the extent to which you are exposed depends on the state. In some states joint assets are considered equally owned while in others the ownership would be assessed based on contribution ...


24

My grandma left a 50K inheritance You don't make clear where in the inheritance process you are. I actually know of one case where the executor (a family member, not a professional) distributed the inheritance before paying the estate taxes. Long story short, the heirs had to pay back part of the inheritance. So the first thing that I would do is verify ...


22

I am skeptical too, but given the money involved, it may be worth a day's adventure to do some research. Mail, email, phone, web can be faked. Offices can't. You are right, there are a lot of "un-knowables" here based on your current level of research. That is because a postal letter, even one with a fine brochure, can be faked. A website where they ...


20

You ask a good question, but I think you are sadly mistaken in some of your views on personal finance. The first is a that a good credit score for you has much value. It has some, but credit score does not indicate wealth. The second misconception is that you are somewhat insulated from your wife's financial condition. You aren't and the bad things that ...


19

Well, no. True, a Roth has no income tax. The tax was already paid on deposit and no more tax due. But, the Roth, IRA or 401, still might be subject to estate tax, as it is still part of the estate for state and federal estate tax purposes. Keep in mind, the federal estate exemption is high, over $11M per decedent. State varies, by, well, state.


19

Going by your comments under gnasher's answer, the scam goes something like this: The scammer is, or is associated with, someone who knew the deceased in prison. They found out enough about you from the deceased to get your contact information. Then, when the deceased died, the scammer used this information to set up an advance-fee scam specifically ...


16

Does your company offer a 401(k) and are you taking maximum advantage of it? 2015 limit is $18,000, an extra $5,500 if you are 50 or older. The RMD shouldn't be too large, it depends on your age, of course. You're in no worse shape than anyone hitting age 70-1/2 and having to start taking their RMDs. If you are younger, your RMDs start pretty low. If I look ...


15

A bit more detail to complement the advice already given. You need around £800k - £1M to comfortably allow for an ongoing income of £20k per annum. I would get some advice from a qualified IFA however as there may be other methods that require less capital. You can get life insurance fairly cheaply to cover you up until retirement age, ie I am paying £16 a ...


15

You have a mix of family and financial problems here. What's smart to do financially may cause conflict in the family, and you have to consider that. First question to me is why you set up these accounts like this. If your in-laws have bad credit and can't get a credit card without your wife cosigning it or some such, then getting out of this situation ...


14

A 401k plan will ask you to name a beneficiary who will receive the funds if you don't withdraw them all before death. Usually, a primary beneficiary and a secondary beneficiary is requested. If you don't specify a beneficiary, your estate is the beneficiary by default. Note that the name supplied to the 401k plan is who will get the money, and you cannot ...


14

Look through the related questions. Make sure you fund the max your tax advantaged retirement funds will take this year. Use the 30k to backstop any shortfalls. Invest the rest in a brokerage account. In and out of your tax advantaged accounts, try to invest in index funds. Your feeling that paying someone to manage your investments might not be the ...


14

After a bit of searching, I found a Wall Street Journal article from 2012, “MetLife Settles Unclaimed Life-Benefit Probe”, and a follow-up article the same year “Michigan Joins Metlife Settlement Regarding Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits”. Apparently, MetLife was involved in a class action suit in 2012 regarding their practice of closing life insurance ...


12

Of course you can transfer it, and it will be legal. There's no taxes on transferring your own money. There's income tax on gains you realized by selling the property, but that is money you already owe, it doesn't matter where the proceeds are. It also doesn't matter how you acquired the property (except for figuring out your basis). What matters is that ...


12

There's a crap-shoot aspect here. If the person assigned to probate the estate is aggressively doing their job, they'll easily find the debt holders and divvy up the money. If they simply place a 'public notice' and wait the standard 30 days (?) mom may get something if no one replies. The cost of probate comes from the estate, mom should not be paying any ...


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