Lotto winners are wealthy like other wealthy people. However, there are some important differences that make good planning paramount! Of course, working with an experienced California estate planning lawyer is part of that planning! Let’s talk about what you should do if you win the lotto.
You should start by getting your team together! I would recommend: a highly experienced estate planning attorney, a Certified Public Accountant, and at least one Certified Financial Planner.
Next you should set your boundaries! Be realistic with yourself. Is it ok to go buy a new Porsche? Sure, probably so, but make sure you don’t buy 5 of them! Some of suggested changing your phone number when you win.
Ok, now the planning part. An estate planning lawyer usually deals with planning after death. That will certainly be part of the planning. That is, making sure whatever is left goes to your children, other loved ones or selected charities in an efficient and protected manner.
However, I really want to focus on YOU the winner. The stereotypical lotto winner is not used to great wealth. The studies show the average lotto winner spends their money, ALL OF IT, in an amazingly short period of time. Do not let that be you. We will likely want to incorporate some irrevocable trusts to take some assets off the table and protect them from your creditors and protect them from you spending them all!
There are some great tools we can utilize that benefit you and your spouse during your lives but leave the money after death with as few taxes as possible. A qualified personal residence trust, reciprocal life insurance trusts and of course a standard revocable living trust. These would all be part of the plan.
Let’s go further though. What about getting a co-trustee involved to help you not spend your money to fast!? If you don’t know anybody trustworthy enough then we could put a bank or private professional fiduciary on-board with you. If that sounds like a pain in the neck then it’s probably a good idea to have them there. Remember they are there to protect YOU and YOUR MONEY!
If you won the lotto or just like having lotto dreams let’s talk about your estate plan. -John