No. of Recommendations: 3
I've been here before... years ago. Not here on this exact board exactly, but over on another board. Back then I was graduating high school, had just been informed that I'd need to be informed about money which led me to realize that my parents had never been informed about money and what to do with it. When I asked here how to politely inform my parents that they needed to get informed about money, the lovely people here thought it a good thing I was doing and gave me an award for my efforts (sadly, I can no longer find that post). Well... here I am again for the same purpose. Though, not exactly the exact same purpose.

My parents have gotten "better" at not giving their finances the complete cold shoulder and while there is always room for improvement, I've left them to make their own decisions. That is, until my Poppop passed away.

You see, my Poppop (my mother's father) and his very much loved and very much deceased wife (my mother's mother) went from rags to middle-class riches by working hard, living well-below-their-means, saving, saving, saving, and making safe decisions about their few investments. They left my mother and thus our family more money than we know what to do with... No, no, I mean it literally: no one is certain exactly how to handle the acquisition and gifting of a house (which will go to my sister and her young family) and the management and application of monies containing six figures.

Now, I've applied the theory of "that's how life works" to the fact that one day my parents too will die and whatever they leave behind, be it a hole in the ground or chests full of bullion, will have to be dealt with. I'd rather them leave the latter than the former and am now back on a path to help them do so while still maintaining the respect a child should have for his elders, even if he is no longer a child.

It's a complicated thing, inheritance, and I'm not too sure even where to begin in asking for help in understanding how best to utilize it should they take any advice I give. Because of that, I'll leave you all with a list of sentences ending in question marks and a hope that some of you will attempt to tackle some of them.

As always, thanks for the knowledge.

*My father handles the finances for my folks and I'm using the term handles very loosely. Before any well thought out decisions can be made about the inheritance, I feel they must first understand their own financial position. The inheritance is specifically in my mother's name and that, coupled with the fact that she too feels a responsibility to her parent's legacy, has brought her back into a more active role in the family finances. Knowing that my father won't put in the effort to do so, how do I convince them to seek out a professional, which is something I've been pushing for years? How can said professional be vetted by two people who know not what questions to ask of him or her? What questions should be asked?

*My family has debts (mortgages, loans, credit cards, etc...). It makes sense to me that all debts should be paid off before any investments / expenditures are made, considering that said debts have APRs above any returns that may safely be estimated from investments. Is this the wisest strategy?

*My Poppop's house was left to my mom as well. We'd like to keep the house in the family and it was wonderful news when my sister and her new family said they were interested in moving into it. There was some miscommunication that resulted in some tension that ended with nice words and a resolution (whew!) regarding the transfer of the house from my mother (executor) to my sister. Aside from not knowing how best to transfer the house to my sister's family (tax implications, asset ownership and future lending implications, legal ramifications, etc...) I'm leary of mixing family with business transactions (this being a real estate transaction) without written contracts in place. Any thoughts on the best way to transfer the house and get everyone to sign on the dotted line with the same pen?

*Finally, when all is said and done, my parents will have, for the first time in their 6 decades on this earth, a little nest egg. Both have pensions, my father being retired and utilizing his and my mother plans to retire within a year or two. Knowing little about the world of investing and estate planning they will be going into that world with the lights off. I want to help put headlamps on them. Aside from using my little bits of free time to educate myself in late-life investing, how can I get them to do that? Or rather, how can I find someone to do that for them? In yet other words: How do you find and then vet from afar a "stock broker guy" that they will trust (they've been burned once before) and who can prove that his or her rate is worth my parents money? I'd actually love to see them plunk whatever nest egg they have into some bond-heavy mutual funds at Vanguard but that's just me.

You're a class act. You read through till the end. I can't thank you enough.

-K
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