Winning the megamillions or any other lottery is a breathtaking time of excitement for anyone. But there are traps. Here are four things you need to do to ensure you keep your “megamillions” or even far less in your lottery winnings.
This is of particular importance right now with the winning $414 million Megamillions ticket sold in the small Maryland town at Lady’s Liquors in La Plata and another in Florida, matching the draw for one of the biggest wins in Maryland. The cash option for the Maryland win is $76 million after taxes
1. Delay the Pickup. Don’t rush to pick up your winnings. The first thing to do is to get your thoughts together, adjust (as much as you can) to the fact that you have won the Megamillions (lets pretend, okay?) and then prepare yourself for the fact that your life will change in just about every respect.
But you want to make those changes for the better. You want to ensure you are going to protect yourself and your family in every way – including legally.
Which takes us to the next step.
2. Keep Quiet. Don’t broadcast your win. You don’t want to splash out suddenly, resign your job and make it known you have come into a fortune. Take your time and prepare a “wealth plan” that will permit you to ensure your megamillions (or whatever) winnings are properly used and properly protected.
You won’t regret it.
3. Read the Instructions. Before claiming your winnings makes sure you check the instructions on your Megamillions ticket, or any other ticket. Check with the website. Make sure you’re not running foul of any technicality on the rules so make sure you sign your name on the ticket, unless this is forbidden or unless this would prevent the formation of a trust that will let you accept the winnings into that new entity.
Then, when the money is collected, place it with a reputable, sound bank.
4. Get good legal and financial advice. Having a sudden windfall changes everything from family dynamics to what you do with your life. Make sure you have the very best legal and financial advice possible. You need to ensure that you are checking for the best lawyers and advisors and that might be the same person, or it might be several. You need advice and the very best you can get.
There will be a variety of new issues you will need to deal with from trust formation to making sure you are protected with your investments and the entities that hold them.
Watch for the lawsuits.
It is amazing how things change – and people change – when you have a lottery win. Just recently a $338 million lottery jackpot lawsuit was concluded happily, but many do not end up so well.
A powerball winner, who received $152 million after taxes had a dispute with his wife, except they were not married, but were partners for 10 years with a child. They fell out
and a lawsuit ensured.
Matrimonial or personal relationships are something that you need to be completely aware of when you have major lottery winnings as they may (and often do) change completely. Expectations, emotions and other matters come to the surface.
Again, you need to ensure you are not only awake to the changes that might occur but also legally and financially protected from your Megamillions win.