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Estate planning for your $1.4 billion Power Ball win

It's a blessing to win the lottery, but it can also be a curse. Winnings need to be managed carefully if you want them to last the rest of your life and provide for your family when you're gone. So, while we're all hoping that we win a billion-dollar jackpot from Power Ball, let's also hope that we manage our winnings wisely and don't end up blowing them all in one place.

The first thing you should do -- even before you win the lottery -- is to sign your ticket. By signing your ticket you claim official ownership of it and no one will be able to steal it from you after it becomes the big winner.

The second thing you should do is write down the names of the people you trust, right now -- not the people who try to gain your trust after your win, but the ones you trusted before your win. Your list will not be long. These people are less likely to only be in your life for the money.

Third, photocopy both sides of the ticket and put the original in a very safe place -- the safest would be at your bank in a safe deposit box. Although the chances are slim to have a fire in your home, the chances were even slimmer that you'd win the jackpot -- so don't press your luck in this regard. Keep that ticket safe.

Fourth, keep your mouth shut. Only tell your spouse if you win the lottery and don't tell anyone else -- only your new legal team who will help you manage your new funds. Don't tell your best friend, your mom or anybody else. Virtually everyone will be asking for money, and if they don't ask, they will secretly want it, so let the reality of your win sink in and solidify your financial plans before you spill the beans.

Fifth, get a financial planner, tax advisor and estate planner you can trust. A good tax advisor can help you save up to 5 percentage points on your tax bill. That equates to millions and millions of dollars. Furthermore, an estate planning professional will also help you plan your finances in a way that will preserve them for your heirs for many years to come.

Source: cleveland.com, "When you win the $1.4 billion Powerball lottery, here's what you should do," Teresa Dixon Murray, Jan. 12, 2016

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