If I won the lottery, what do I do now?

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If I won the lottery, what do I do now?

I won the Powerball lottery jackpot, and I am going to collect. What do I do now as far as the team to assemble regarding legal, taxes, investments, etc? Should I speak with a tax attorney? In Dallas, TX.

Asked on December 17, 2010 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You would well-advised to speak with a tax attorney, who can advise you as to how to best minimize tax consequences. If either the attorney advises or you decide to set up any trusts, you'll need a trust and estates lawyer, who can also help you draft a will. In theory, an investment or financial advisor would also be useful, but be careful: I'm a former SEC attorney, and I've seen that alot of those are not reliable. Do your due diligence on anyone you select: check to see if their are complaints with them with FINRA or the BBB; search EDGAR (the SEC computer system, accessible at the SEC website) for any securities complaints; do a few general web searches for them, their associates, and their business name; talk to current clients of theirs.

You will also need a good accountant, but that's actually the last one to get: accountants mostly "account" for things on the backend, after the money is received, investment decisions made, etc.


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