Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
You may have considered leaving an inheritance to someone close to you—a child, a sibling, or perhaps your best friend. While it’s nice to know that you might make someone’s life a little easier by giving him or her money, real estate, or personal property, it’s also daunting to figure out how to go about doing so.
There are a few steps you can take now to help ensure your heirs receive an inheritance later—without having to stress over details.
1. Give the money now as a gift.
You don’t have to wait until after your death to give your loved ones an inheritance. Annually, you can give a tax-free gift of up to $14,000 to an unlimited number of beneficiaries. Consider gifting your loved ones’ inheritances over time, on birthdays, holidays, and special occasions. They’ll appreciate it, and you’ll be able to witness their enjoyment firsthand.
2. Talk to the beneficiaries and explain your expectations.
If you don’t want your loved ones to spend their inheritance on material possessions and impulsive decisions, it’s important to set expectations. Tell each recipient how much money he or she will receive, and explain how you’d like each person to use that money.
Whether you leave a specific amount of money or you leave property, you should indicate the dollar value. Too often, recipients are shocked and commence celebrating without thinking about how their choices can affect their financial future. Tell your beneficiaries how you earned the money or acquired the property you’re leaving them, and teach them how to properly invest the money so that it will last for generations.
3. Don’t leave money to minors without establishing a trust.
Most minors do not have the money management skills required to handle large sums of money. If a minor were to receive $75,000 from an inheritance, he or she might buy a new car instead of investing toward college or stashing the money in a retirement account.
To address your concerns, contact an attorney and set up a trust. Make sure to name the minor as the recipient so the funds are successfully transferred and not reassigned to another heir.
4. Don’t bind the terms of the inheritance.
Although it’s a wise idea to suggest to your heirs how their inheritance should be used, don’t put restrictions on the terms required for each person to receive the money or property.
Your will transfers money, property, and guardianship of minors, so use it to explain in detail your wishes to help ensure that your money and belongings are properly assigned.
Bahiyah Shabazz is a leader in maximizing your potential and visualizing growth. She’s an entrepreneur, author, personal wealth expert, and financial blogger. Bahiyah Shabazz is also the founder and CEO of both Shabazz Management Group and Fabulous & Money Savvy. She is the author of Finances are linked to emotions, Spending cleanse: Clean up your finances in 5 days, and Save & Budget: Learn to put your needs first. Bahiyah has appeared as a guest on the nation’s television and radio networks. She has also appeared in Black Enterprise.com, Urban Business Roundtable, HER Magazine, Industry Buzz, Rolling Out, The Savvy Sistah, and a variety of other media outlets. Bahiyah has a MBA in business and finance.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.