You may have heard that a recent lottery made millionaires out of some people. Because the jackpot was a record $64o million it was actually difficult to avoid news about it. You may have dreamed about what you would do with the money if you ever won that much in the lottery. But, have you ever considered what the first thing you should do is? The first thing you should do is to speak to an attorney experienced in financial planning and estate planning.
The state lottery agencies like to make a big deal out of the winners and let everyone know who won the big jackpot. That might not be in your best interests. If people know you won the lottery, then you will start receiving a lot of solicitations for how you can waste that money. In many states, an experienced attorney can quickly set up a trust for you that allows you to claim your winnings anonymously. Beyond the anonymity factor that an attorney can help you with, if you are not used to having that type of money, an attorney can help you plan how you to take care of your new found wealth and what to do with it after you pass away.
If you ever do win the big jackpot, your first thought probably won’t be visiting an attorney to make sure that you have everything in order. However, you will be better off if you make it your second or third thought.
The Mendel Law Firm, L.P. is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.