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Financial Windfall Checklist

Not sure where to start? This Tool will help protect your best interests during a Financial Windfall.


General information

  1. Has personal information been gathered?
    • Marital status
    • Date of birth
    • Name of spouse/partner, date of birth
    • Children's names, dates of birth
    • Health status
    • Social Security numbers
    • State of residence
  2. Has financial situation been assessed?
    • Size of financial windfall
    • Manner in which windfall was acquired
    • Date when windfall was received
    • Way in which windfall will be paid (e.g., lump sum, annuity)

Managing your windfall

  1. Has a team of professional advisors been put in place?
    • Attorney
    • Tax advisor
    • Financial advisor
    • Estate planner
    • Real estate broker
    • Insurance agent
    • Investment broker
  2. Have the roles of the participants been defined? (e.g., will the client or the advisor make the day-to-day decisions?)

Ways to use your windfall

  1. Will the windfall be used to pay off debts? (e.g., credit cards, mortgages, auto loans)
  2. Will the windfall be used to save for a rainy day? (e.g., illness, unemployment)
  3. Will the windfall be used to purchase something new? (e.g., house, car, boat)
  4. Will the windfall be used to fund children's college education?
  5. Will the windfall be used to fund retirement accounts to maximum?
  6. Will the windfall be used to donate to charity?
  7. Will the windfall be used to plan a vacation?
  8. Has a time frame been established for achieving these goals?
  9. Will windfall be used to provide for others? (e.g., parents, siblings)

Investing for the future

  1. Have investment options been considered? (e.g., stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, annuities, collectibles)
  2. Have tax-deferred versus taxable accounts been considered?
    • IRAs
    • 401(k) plans
    • Annuities
    • Cash value life insurance
  3. Have equity investments been researched/explained?
    • New issue common stock
    • Emerging growth common stock
    • Growth and income fund
    • Small company growth fund

Insurance needs

  1. Is a personal umbrella liability insurance policy in place?
    • Increased protection--peace of mind
    • Blanket coverage
    • Lawsuits tend to look for deep pockets
  2. Has consideration been given to post-windfall insurance needs?
    • Homeowners
    • Auto
    • Disability
    • Life
    • Long-term care

Estate planning

  1. Have estate planning options been previously considered by windfall recipient?
    • Consulted a professional
    • Estate planning software
    • Talked to family
    • Made any decisions
  2. Is there a valid will?
    • Where is it stored?
    • Who has access to it?
    • When was it last updated?
    • Does it reflect current wishes?
  3. Has setting up a trust(s) been considered?
    • Life insurance trust
    • Charitable remainder trust
    • Bypass trust
    • Crummey trust
    • Revocable versus irrevocable trusts

Tax issues

  1. Has windfall recipient contemplated the tax consequences of the windfall?
    • Consider methods to offset any increases (e.g., first or second mortgage, give to charity, save for children's education)
  2. Are records kept for all tax-deductible transactions?
    • Charitable contributions
    • Medical expenses
    • Dependent care expenses
    • Nonreimbursed business expenses
    • Tax preparation fees

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Wealth Due to Inheritance

Often wealth is inherited without education on how to invest or manage it. This Article talks about issues with lump sum inheritance, and tax consequences.

*Wealth management services through INVEST are made available by Beneficial Advisors, LLC, a wholly-owned non-bank subsidiary of Beneficial Bank. Financial Advisors of Beneficial Advisors, LLC are Registered Representatives of INVEST Financial Corporation (INVEST), member FINRA, SIPC, a registered investment advisor. INVEST is not affiliated with Beneficial Advisors, LLC or Beneficial Bank. INVEST, Beneficial Advisors, LLC and Beneficial Bank do not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax and/or legal advisor for guidance on your particular situation. INVEST and its affiliated insurance agencies offer securities, advisory services, and certain insurance products and are: Not a deposit or other obligation of any bank – Not insured by the FDIC – Not insured by any Federal Governmental Agency – Not guaranteed by Beneficial Bank or any of its affiliates – Subject to Investment Risk, including possible loss of principal.

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USA PATRIOT Act

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, the USA PATRIOT Act requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account.

What this means for you – When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver’s license and other identifying documents.