Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

What To Do After Winning The Lottery

Piggy BankThe Powerball lottery is dominating the news over the last week as the jackpot has steadily grown to the point that one lucky winner could possibly walk away with nearly a billion dollars after taxes. But what should one do if such unimaginable wealth is suddenly dropped on the doorstep? The first thing is to sign the ticket and make copies to make sure that no one can steal the ticket and claim the prize. Second, remain anonymous if at all possible although this depends on the state. The bigger the prize the more people will begin to appear in a winner's life wanting something ranging from 3rd cousin Ted you met once at a wedding to that kid in school that always cheated over your shoulder then bragged about making an A so privacy should be a major concern. Updating an estate plan, if a plan was ever in place to begin with, is crucial since a will drawn up when little or no assets existed is much more likely to leave people out than one crafted under enriched circumstances. But most important of all, make sure that a trustworthy legal and financial team is in place. Lottery winners are much like pro athletes in that they go from broke to insanely rich instantly which attracts all manner of leeches and vultures who are only looking to get a to cut off a slice for themselves without regard to the interest the winner so worthy advisors are a must.

See Bryan Cave, You Won The Lottery, Now What?, Wealth Management, January 12, 2016.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse for bringing this article to my attention.


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