Mary Anna Thomas

21 Inherited Assets That Could Spell Trouble Instead of Triumph

Inheriting assets from loved ones can be a blessing as they offer financial security and a way to remember those who have passed. However, some inherited assets can quickly become a burden due to illegal complexities or financial losses. Here are 21 inherited assets that are more trouble than they’re worth.        

Timeshares

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Often marketed as a chance to own your dream vacation home, timeshares can be troublesome. Not only do you have to contribute to annual maintenance fees, but you are also limited to when you can stay at your property. You should consider the costs and restrictions before accepting your inheritance and not simply see it as a free holiday.

Vacation Homes

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Like timeshares, the upkeep and taxes on vacation homes can be a financial burden. On average, 1 percent of the home’s value is spent on maintenance fees. You should assess the costs of maintaining the home, the potential to rent it out when not in use, and how much you will benefit from using it.

Debts

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Inheriting debt often means assuming legal responsibility for repayment. It is best to consult a legal expert to evaluate the type of debt and the amount you would be expected to repay if you take on assets.

Collectibles

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Personal valuables are a warm reminder of the loved one you have lost, but can also be a burden. Keeping one or two items is nice, but having a house full of collectibles can create clutter. Selling them can also be problematic as their values fluctuate significantly, and it takes time to list them or sell them to dealers.

Life Insurance Policies

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While inheriting a life insurance policy can seem like a financial windfall, it’s crucial to understand the full process before claiming the benefits. Depending on the policy type and your location, the payout may be subject to income tax or estate tax, so you should talk to a tax advisor.

Businesses

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Inheriting a business can be exciting but daunting, as it presents challenges beyond simply receiving an asset. Dealing with the emotional impact of losing a loved one while trying to manage a business can be overwhelming. Separating personal grief from business decisions can be challenging, so if you do take on the business, you may want to employ somebody to help as you transition. 

Part Ownership in Assets

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Sharing ownership of assets like real estate and cars can create complex maintenance and usage agreements. Before accepting, it is important to read the small print to fully understand the terms and potential conflicts.

Pets

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While inheriting a beloved pet can be rewarding, consider the long-term commitment to providing proper care. You may not have room in your home for animals, and high vet bills can drain your wallet. Pet adoption services will provide a better home if you cannot fully commit to looking after a loved one’s pet.

Exotic Animals

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Exotic pets like reptiles, birds, or primates require specialized care and permits, creating a significant commitment and potential legal issues. It may be best to donate them to a pet rescue service or advertise to locals who understand how to care for them. 

Personal Belongings

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Personal belongings offer sentimental value rather than monetary value. They can take up too much space in your home or cost a lot to store. Evaluate their condition and consider selling or donating them to a thrift store rather than keeping them all. 

Intellectual Property

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Inheriting patents, copyrights, or trademarks usually requires ongoing fees to maintain any infringement. If you want to pursue the deceased’s interest, consult legal experts to understand the full costs and benefits, as there may be a more suitable recipient. 

Expired Investments

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It is common for people to leave investments like stocks and bonds in their will, but some funds can lose value over time. Before accepting this element of your inheritance, you can check out the status and potential tax implications with a financial advisor. 

Unfinished Projects

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Inheriting unfinished projects like renovations or creative endeavors can be emotionally and financially overwhelming. Competing projects could have significant costs, so it may be better to pass them on to others who have the required skills.

Unclear or Complex Ownership

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Assets with unclear ownership, missing documentation, or multiple potential heirs can lead to lengthy legal disputes. It is always advisable to seek legal guidance to review the details of any inheritance documentation, so you know where you stand. 

Environmental Liabilities

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Inheriting land may seem like winning the lottery, but it comes with complications. Land with hazardous materials or concerns about endangered species can have significant cleanup costs.  

Artworks

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While valuable art can be a welcome asset, you must pay for the authentication process and restoration costs, which can run into hundreds of dollars. If you’re dedicated to accepting art assets, art buyers can help you with the process for a percentage of the sale. 

Memberships or Subscriptions

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Ongoing memberships for clubs, gyms, or services are usually stopped once a person dies, but sometimes they are passed on. They may seem like a bonus but can become unwanted financial burdens once you get bored. 

Digital Assets

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Online accounts, cryptocurrency wallets, or digital content can be confusing assets to inherit. Tech experts and legal professionals can help you navigate these assets securely, as you don’t want to fall foul in a world you don’t understand.  

High-Maintenance Vehicles

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While your inherited vehicle may seem valuable, maintaining and taxing it could strip away any benefits. Luxury sports cars or antique vehicles also have significantly higher insurance premiums due to their value, performance, or rarity.

Contracts or Leases

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If you inherit a contract or lease, you take on all legal obligations associated with them, even if you weren’t involved in the initial agreement. This includes financial obligations, maintenance responsibilities, and adherence to specific terms and conditions.

Unfamiliar Investments

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Investments in unfamiliar financial instruments, foreign markets, or complex structures require thorough research, which the deceased may have had in abundance, but you lack entirely. 

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