Winning the lottery is one of the most exciting times in a person’s life. If you count yourself among the lucky winners, you’re probably spending your time thinking of everything you’re going to buy. While increased spending power comes with a win, you also need to think of potential issues that might arise. Hiring a lawyer should be one of the first steps you take after winning. Go over some of the legal benefits of using a lawyer after winning a lottery.
1. Protect Your Anonymity and Money
You probably don’t want the world to know that you’ve won the lottery. If you are announced as a winner, you can expect people you’ve never heard of to come out of the woodwork and ask for a portion of the money. Winning can also put you at risk for scams and lawsuits. A lawyer can go over different strategies to help you maintain your anonymity after collecting your winnings. At the same time, your attorney can protect you if someone does find out you won and then files a frivolous lawsuit to swindle you out of some of your winnings.
2. Choose the Right Payout Option
You have a big decision to make after winning the lottery. Should you take a lump sum payout or go with annuity payments? An attorney will go over your financial status and future needs to help you choose the right option. Getting legal advice before choosing the payout option can help you avoid making a catastrophic financial mistake.
3. Avoid Tax Issues
The IRS will automatically take 25% of your lottery winnings for taxes. However, you’ll likely owe additional money as well, and failure to pay could put you in significant legal trouble. Hiring a tax lawyer immediately after you win can help you avoid legal problems. Your attorney can look for potential deductions to minimize your tax bill and then explain exactly how much you owe.
4. Create a Plan to Prevent Overspending
It’s easy to overspend after coming into a windfall. Unfortunately, overspending can cause you to go through your winnings quickly, even if you won millions of dollars. An attorney can help you avoid overspending by setting up a trust. Many winners choose a blind trust that allows them to maintain their anonymity while protecting their winnings.
Your attorney will set up the trust and schedule payouts, so you can enjoy the money without going on a massive spending spree. With a trust in place, you can benefit from your lottery winnings for the rest of your life. Then, you’ll have true financial security.
Setting up a trust has another benefit as well. Even if you remain anonymous, you’ll probably tell some of your friends and family about the winnings. It’s easy to turn down requests for money when your winnings are in a trust. You cannot access the funds except for the scheduled payouts. This prevents others from taking advantage of you.
Secure Your Financial Future with Help from an Attorney
These benefits make it clear that hiring an attorney after winning the lottery is a must. From protecting yourself against lawsuits and scams to preventing overspending, your attorney will help in many ways. Contact the attorney before you claim your winnings so you can enjoy protection throughout the entire process.