7 money afflictions from inherited wealth

Guilt: What did I do to deserve this money?
Guilt: What did I do to deserve this money? © Anneka/

Chuck Collins, senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and co-founder of Wealth for the Common Good, is the great-grandson of the packaged-meat titan Oscar Mayer. Within five years of gaining an inherited fortune at age 21, he donated it all to charity. "I worried the money would throw me off my course," he says. "I didn't earn it and didn't feel a claim to it."

Not everyone will want to give their inheritance away, but the key is to figure out a purpose for the money, says Susan Bradley, founder of Sudden Money Institute. She suggests making a "bliss list" of all the ways your life would be enhanced if money were no object. Then prioritize the list based on the amount of your inheritance and figure out how to use the money to reach those goals.

Blouin dealt with feelings of guilt by seeking out other people who inherited wealth and struggled with the same issue. "A therapist or trusted adviser can be helpful, but you might also want to find a group of like-minded people," she says. Go on the Internet to identify groups and organizations that will match your goals and ideals, whether they include wealth management, financial literacy or philanthropy.


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