How to Handle People Wanting to Share in your Wealth

Depending on how much money you come into, and how public the notice is about your windfall, you may be surprised by people who want to share in your windfall…or you may not!  You may find immediate or extended family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors, distant relatives and even complete strangers suggesting a variety of things for you to do with your money including:

  • giving them cash outright
  • paying off an existing debt of theirs
  • investing in a new or existing business venture
  • starting a new business partnership
  • making a charitable donation to their personal cause or organization

Regardless of how you know the person approaching you, or what the request is, remember that this is YOUR money.  You are responsible for paying taxes on it, for managing it, and only you can ultimately decide what to do with it.  If you feel uncomfortable with the request, at least buy yourself some time by responding, “I appreciate your interest but I am not making any decisions at this time.”  Again, depending on the relationship you can always ask the person to put their request in writing (it’s at least a good way of determining who is willing to do even a small amount of work for some potential funds!).  Write people’s requests down and set a time that you will look over the list.  Having some time and distance away from the actual request – and seeing the requests on paper, comparing them to one another – can help you begin to get an idea of what you do – and do not – want to do financially.  It’s also helpful to compile requests and work with a financial advisor to see how you could most wisely use your money to meet requests you do approve of.