How to Handle an Unexpected Sum of Money Responsibly

There is nothing like getting the news that you have received an unexpected sum of money. But inheritances or other sudden sources of money like lottery winnings often bring with them their own unique set of problems.  In general, the greater the amount of money you receive the greater the challenge in dealing with it.  Individuals often struggle to know how to best safeguard, invest and provide for the ultimate transfer of these funds.  Here are some tips on how to handle an unexpected sum of money responsibly.

Get Professional Insight

Consulting with an estate planning attorney will help you take the long view of sudden wealth.  An estate planning attorney will guide you on the ownership, management and ultimate disposition of the assets and help you navigate complex issues relating to state and federal taxes.  Other professional advisors can help you know where to place and invest the money and how to protect and account for it.

Develop Short- and Long-Term Goals

A comprehensive financial and estate plan in the immediate aftermath of receiving a large amount of money is essential. While inheriting assets might seem like a great excuse to kick back and enjoy life, remember that to properly protect, organize and invest those assets, a certain amount of diligence is required.   There are many stories about those who have inherited great wealth only to lose it to poor management or investment or to see it ruin the lives of family members.  The best way to preserve inherited funds or other assets for yourself and future generations is to set realistic goals and make careful plans with the help of trusted advisers.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding How to Handle an Unexpected Sum of Money, or any other estate planning matters, please feel free to contact Stephen L. West at 480.461.5341,or Curtis M. Chipman at 480.461.5329. You can also log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.