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How to Handle Unwanted Inheritances

I know, I know. What kind of question is this? When we think of inheritances, we usually think of cash. And if you don't want your cash inheritance, I will gladly take on that burden for you!

But what if the inheritance is something we don't want to keep forever?

In a group of midlife women, the question was recently asked:

How do you handle the expectation that you will inherit family heirlooms if you don't want them?

In my mind, the expectation isn't the issue. (I mean, you expect it. So what?) The real issue is your response. And that's a simple thing.

Here are the steps if you inherit something you don't want:

  1. Be grateful someone cared about you enough to leave you something they valued.
  2. Take pictures of the items and archive them for posterity (if you think it might be interesting to someone).
  3. Sell it or give it to someone who will value it like the giver did.

When you inherit something, the giver is dead. They don't care about the stuff anymore. You aren't hurting their feelings. You can let the stuff move on to a better place just like the decedent.

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Alison Moore Smith is a 60-year-old entrepreneur. She has been (very happily) married to Samuel M. Smith for 38 years. They are parents of six incredible children and grandparents to two astounding grandsons.

She is the author of The 7 Success Habits of Homeschoolers.

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