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"What should my wife do if she received a voicemail about inheriting unexpected money or property?"

**Verify the caller's identity**: Before responding to the voicemail, ensure the caller is legitimate by researching the company and the researcher's credentials to avoid potential scams.

**Beware of phishing scams**: Legitimate inheritances will not ask for personal data, such as Social Security numbers or bank account information, over the phone or via email.

**Understand the concept of "mineral interest"**: Mineral interest refers to the ownership of minerals beneath a property, which can generate revenue through mining or drilling.

**Inheritances are separate property**: Generally, inheritances are considered separate property and are not automatically shared with a spouse, but this can vary depending on state laws and individual circumstances.

**Probate proceedings may be necessary**: If the inheritance involves a significant amount of assets, probate proceedings may be required to settle the estate according to local laws and regulations.

**Tax implications must be considered**: The inheritance may be subject to taxes, and failing to address these implications promptly could result in lost or diminished assets.

**Be cautious of urgent deadlines**: Scammers may create a sense of urgency to prompt quick action, which can lead to financial losses or identity theft.

**Research the inheritance laws in your state**: Understand the specific laws and regulations governing inheritances in your state, as these can vary significantly.

**Consult with a lawyer or financial advisor**: If you're unsure about the inheritance or the process, consider consulting with a lawyer or financial advisor to ensure you're following the correct procedures.

**Keep inherited assets separate**: To keep inherited assets separate from shared marital assets, follow guidelines on how to hold and use inherited funds.

**Consider a consent order**: If you're concerned about an ex-spouse receiving inheritance money, consider taking out a consent order, which is a legal document that confirms agreements between parties.

**Avoid impulsive decisions**: When receiving an inheritance, take time to reflect and plan before making any major financial decisions.

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