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Hi Carolyn, not Caroline (sorry about that!),

Well the experts, Phil & Peter, have given you excellent guidance and advice and I concur from the non-expert side :)

In addition to an estate type attorney to get things explained and then an Enrolled Agent or CPA for taxes, with regard to your investment mix questions, I would recommend you see a Fee ONLY Investment advisor from Garrett Planning: or one selected from NAPFA: The only fee they get is what they charge you and not any kickback commissions for pushing specific mutual funds with loads. Also be wary of any annuity products or "leveraged planning" regardless of any "guaranteed income" promise.

To echo Peter's comment on the scope of anonymous internet board discussions with regarding what to invest in, we really don't know enough about your complete financial picture to advise you, nor should you share that detailed information on a public BB.

Yes, it will cost you more money, but as I told my son (if there's anything left in the Trust for him!), it will be money well spent and in all likelihood save you more from any pitfalls you might stray into otherwise.

I like and used Garrett Planning a few years ago before I retired for a couple of reasons:

1. Some used to give a 10% initial discount to Fool Members (don't know if they still do).
2. They will work on an hourly basis which once an initial plan is put in place, you can have a few hours of "tune-up" a year if needed without monthly management fees.

Sorry I can't be more specific, but I think you know you're in the right place with SA/RB/SN for recommendations. Be sure you mention any strategies you are interested in to any Fee ONLY (not "free" Fee Based) planner you see.

To repeat Peter again because it can't be emphasized enough: The most important thing I can suggest in this area is: Do not invest in anything you do not understand. If you keep it simple enough in a year or two you should be able to achieve your goal of doing it yourself.
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