This can be a very confusing time, as you may also be dealing with the death of a loved one. Plus, you want to ensure that their hard earned money is put to the best use possible for you in your life.
Here are some things to consider:
- Even if you are married, this is YOUR personal money. It will remain that way unless you CHOOSE to co-mingle it into your marriage whereby it will then become part of the marital assets. If you are in doubt , do NOTHING!! Sit back, assess the situation and consult with a professional to determine what is in your best interest.
- View this money as a separate “Pot” of money. Is there something specific you would like to accomplish with it, or that your family member would have wanted for you? Such as:
- Going back to school
- A bucket list activity
- Structuring things so that your children directly benefit from this asset either now or in the future
- If the source of the funds is Registered (RRSP, LIRA, RIF) the amount you should receive is net of taxes. Make sure you have the correct net amount and are not using the amount before taxes are paid.
- Lastly, ensure you have all the facts about these funds especially if the funds were left to you outside a Will. Is the will being contested? Were there enough funds in the estate to pay all outstanding taxes? The government is going to ensure all taxes are paid, even if the funds are from people who have benefitted from the estate.
Remember, these are your funds, left to you specifically. You are under no obligation to follow anyone else’s wishes for this money, unless you choose to do so.