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How should I handle a foreign inheritance?

I am inheriting about $650,000 from my aunt. The sticky part of the situation is that she lived in Argentina. What's the best way for me to handle this situation? Should I be working with a financial advisor or an attorney for this? Are there any particular designations/experience that I should be looking for to indicate proficiency in this matter?

Apr 11, 2012 by Alazne from Goldsboro, NC in  |  Flag
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Hi Alzane,

I am sorry to hear of your loss.

i went through a similar situation several years ago. My wife inherited money from her father. Her family is from Venezuela.

the whole process was fairly straight forward. The only issue was moving the money from Venezuela.

Whenever there is a windfall, such as yours, I usually recommend three professionals: an estate attorney for your estate, a CPA, and a financial advisor. The reason for the attorney is to make sure you plan for your legal needs and make sure your estate gets handled properly. Also, if there is money that will be given to other family members it is done in a way that reduces your liability. You don't want to run afoul US gifting rules when Argentine law would allow unlimited giting in a situation like this.

A good CPA will make sure you take advantage of tax benefits you have available. A good CPA can also help with other aspects besides taxes.

A financial planner can help with helping you produce a plan and moving forward. All three professionals can make sure your plan fits your values and does what you want it to do. You don't want to run out of money within several years as happens with many lottery winners.

On the financial planning side, do you know anyone that is currently working with an advisor? If so, what do they say about the advisor? That would be a good place to start, and you can meet with them to see if there is a good fit.

Designations like CFP or ChFC are important, but not the only indicator of proficiency. There are some good advisors without these designations, but these designations do show the advisor is dedicated to continued education and ethical behavior. Also, neither is asking someone what kind of returns they get for their clients a measure of proficiency. In your situation, I would ask all those involved if they have experience in something similar or what resources they have available in a situation like yours.

I recommend you interview several advisors. I usually appreciate it when a prospect tells me they are interviewing several planners. What you want is someone you feel has your interest at heart. You want to make sure the person you eventually choose is someone you can trust. Afterall, there is a lot of money at stake. The person should be able to answer questions about how they get paid, costs, services provided, etc. As with other service providers they may not be able to give you an exact amount with just a chat on the phone, but should be able to give you geeral information. When you sit with them in a more formal setting they should be able to be more detailed.

Comment   |  Flag   |  Apr 11, 2012 from Permanente, CA

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