There is no debate that Friday is one of, if not the best, days of the week. It marks the end of a work week while signaling the start of a weekend where you’re free to do as you please. Most Friday’s come and go, and we don’t think twice about it; however, this coming Friday is extra special. On Friday, there will be a Mega Millions drawing with a whopping $970 million up for grabs. While no one from Kentucky has ever won the Mega Millions jackpot, it never hurts to try. Worst case scenario, you’re out a couple bucks. But best-case scenario is you’re taking home millions of dollars and the opportunity to fulfill all your dreams. So, what do you do if you actually win big?
What To Do First When You Win The Lottery?
While we all dream about winning the lottery, how many of us seriously consider what to do after winning? Probably zero. We know what we want to buy but we have no idea how to actually go about handling the winnings. That is why it is vital to contact an attorney immediately after winning, especially before screaming from the rooftops that you hit it big. Not only will an attorney provide sound advice on how to navigate your newfound fortune, they can also help you save millions in taxes, protect the safety of you and your family, and keep you out of the spotlight.
Research Your States Lottery Laws
When you win the lottery there is a lot you will need to go through before actually claiming the jackpot. After you call an attorney, the first thing you’ll want to ask is how you should handle your ticket and how to go about the claiming process. Every state has their own laws and claiming process regarding lottery winnings, and your attorney will help you correctly navigate that process. They will also advise you on ways you can claim your winnings without losing a ridiculously large chunk to taxes and help you with the lump sum vs. annuity payments decision. Next, it is important to figure out what you want to do with your new fortune. While you may be inclined to buy a new house (or multiple), new cars, or even invest some of it, it is important to hold off on any major money decisions before talking with an attorney. Poor money management and zero professional guidance is how many big lottery winners go broke. Another new issue you suddenly have to think about is what would happen to all your money if you were to die. You’ll have to figure out who gets what, if they need a trust, if you want it donated, and the list goes on. By hiring an attorney, they will assist you with your estate planning, recommend the best financial planners and accountants, and will help you with investing, business planning, etc. An attorney will also help you navigate legal claims such as those that might come about if you went in on a ticket with co-workers or a friend.
Addressing Your Security
Hiring an attorney will also help keep you and your family safe. There are plenty of lottery winners who have been injured and even killed because of people demanding a share of their winnings. Once your name is out there, you’ll become the most famous person for the next week and as a result will be overwhelmed with people wanting handouts, investors, and even death threats. If you wish to avoid the spotlight and keep your anonymity, an attorney will provide you with the best way to do that. Most likely, they’ll help you set up a trust or entity to claim your winnings so that your name is not released and instead it’s the trust’s/entity’s name that people will see. Additionally, your attorney can also help handle the media and other public inquiries if you wish to stay out of the spotlight.
Have An Attorney Help With Your Planning
All in all, winning the lottery is an exciting event that will change your life and the lives of your loved ones forever. However, it is important to take a breath and take the time to think through the chaos before making any decisions. In most states including Kentucky, you have up to six months to claim your winnings, giving you plenty of time to think and plan. An attorney will help you move through this thinking and planning process as well as ensure the safety of you and your family. If you win big, then by all means celebrate (albeit on the down low), but then contact an attorney as soon as possible!