The possibility of winning “one billion dollars”, said in the voice of Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies, was heavily reported by the media last month, which brought up memories of some interesting clients and some unforgettable times. Over thirty plus years of practicing law, attorneys meet countless people who present interesting questions. While the details and identities must be held in confidence, representing lottery winners is rarely dull and entails more than most people ever think about.
Who owns the ticket? Does more than one person have a claim? Who has possession of the ticket? How should you secure the ticket? Should you write on the ticket? Who do you call, and who can you trust? How do you contact the Lottery, and how do you go about accepting payment? Should you disclose my identity or try to fly under the radar?
If you read this far for all those answers, sorry. The answer to these questions is similar to the answer to most legal and tax questions; it depends. The action plan is identical to any other legal question; hire a good lawyer. His or her experience as a trusted professional with a network of legal and accounting professionals will help you make the most of this opportunity. FYI; you already have assets and opportunities to make good decisions with the help of wise counsel. Bailey & Galyen would love to help you do just that.