Can I Deposit an Inheritance Check? A Comprehensive Guide to Handling Cash Inheritances

Receiving an inheritance can be a bittersweet experience, marked by both financial gain and emotional adjustment. Among the practical considerations that arise is the question of how to handle a cash inheritance. This guide will provide a comprehensive overview of the process, including the best places to deposit the funds, tax implications, and strategies for managing your newfound wealth.

Depositing Your Inheritance Check

The first step in managing your inheritance is to deposit the check. You can do this at any federally insured bank or credit union. It’s important to note that large cash deposits may trigger additional scrutiny from the bank, so be prepared to provide documentation of the source of the funds.

Choosing the Right Account

Once you’ve deposited the check, you’ll need to decide where to keep the money. A savings account is a good option for short-term storage, but if you plan on investing or using the funds for other purposes, you may want to consider a different type of account.

Tax Implications

In most cases, you will not have to pay taxes on a cash inheritance at the state or federal level. However, there are two exceptions:

  • State inheritance tax: Six states (Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) levy inheritance taxes on at least some people.
  • Federal estate tax: If you inherit over $12.92 million in assets in 2023, you’ll have to pay federal estate taxes. Some states also levy estate taxes, each with their own thresholds.

Managing Your Inheritance

Once you’ve deposited your inheritance and addressed any tax implications, it’s time to decide what to do with the money. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Pay down debt: If you have any outstanding debts, such as credit card debt or student loans, using your inheritance to pay them off can save you money on interest and improve your financial situation.
  • Invest: Investing your inheritance can help you grow your wealth over time. There are a variety of investment options available, so it’s important to do your research and choose the ones that are right for you.
  • Make a major purchase: If you’ve been dreaming of buying a house, a car, or another big-ticket item, your inheritance could make it a reality.
  • Give to charity: If you’re feeling generous, you can use your inheritance to support a cause that you care about.

Receiving a cash inheritance can be a life-changing event. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that you handle your inheritance wisely and make the most of your newfound wealth.

Depositing an Estate Check


What is the best way to deposit an inheritance check?

Deposit the money into a safe account Your first action to take when receiving a lump sum is to deposit the money into an FDIC-insured bank account. This will allow for safekeeping while you consider how to make the best use of your inheritance.

Do inheritance checks get reported to IRS?

In general, any inheritance you receive does not need to be reported to the IRS. You typically don’t need to report inheritance money to the IRS because inheritances aren’t considered taxable income by the federal government. That said, earnings made off of the inheritance may need to be reported.

Can you cash an inheritance check?

If you received checks for someone who died, you’ll need to go through the probate process in order to deposit them into an account or cash them. This may require being named as the executor or administrator of the estate, or getting the check signed by someone who is authorized to do so on behalf of the estate.

Can I deposit cash from an inheritance?

A good place to deposit a large cash inheritance, at least for the short term, would be a federally insured bank or credit union. Your money won’t earn much in the way of interest, but as long as you stay under the legal limits, it will be safe until you decide what to do with it.

Can you deposit a large cash inheritance in a savings account?

You can deposit a large cash inheritance in a savings account, either through a check or direct wire to your bank. The bigger question is what you should do with it once it’s deposited. While that is ultimately your decision, it helps to have a plan. The more prepared you are before you get the inheritance.

Should you deposit a large inheritance check?

Treat yourself: When depositing a large inheritance check, a few legal considerations must be kept in mind: Anti-Money Laundering Laws: Banks are required to report any suspicious transactions to the authorities to prevent money laundering activities.

Where should a large cash inheritance be deposited?

The best place to deposit the large cash inheritance is in a federally insured bank or credit union account. Putting the inheritance in a savings account is a good option for the short term. When the time is right, you should decide if there’s a better place for it, especially since most savings accounts don’t offer compounding interest.

Should I open a new account for my inheritance check?

2. Consider opening a new account If the inheritance check is a large sum of money, it may be wise to consider opening a new account specifically for the inheritance funds. This will help you keep track of the funds and avoid any confusion with your other accounts.

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