Inheritance stories: What I did with my windfall

These readers have experienced the complicated ups and downs of coming into a large sum -- and all have done their best to honor their benefactor's intention.

'That's his legacy to us'
'That's his legacy to us'
John Haggard says his father left him well prepared to handle coming in to a large sum of money at a young age.
John Haggard
Age: 23
Hometown: Auburn, Ala.
Inheritance: $472,362

I'm very grateful for the inheritance I've been left because it gives me a head start as I leave college. But I would rather have my dad around because while he left me $472,000, the advice and support he offered me was invaluable.

I have a trusted financial adviser who has been with our family for years and who has my best interests in mind so, it made the process much easier. My father also sat down face to face with me before he died to explain what types of accounts we were inheriting, what the tax implications were, and how he felt we should use the money.

He told my sister to pay off her mortgage and home loans. For me, he set aside money to pay tuition and for my apartment. He put a stipulation for me to put some money aside and invest it in a low-risk portfolio. He never got to meet his grandkids, so this is his way of giving to them as well. So I think it's really important. That's his legacy to us. Not only would it be wasteful to go against his plan, but it would also be dishonorable. That money is not really mine, it's his, he's the one that earned it.

By Jessica Dickler, staff writer @CNNMoney - Last updated May 14 2012: 11:55 AM ET
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