Many of us like to fantasize about winning the lottery. We muse with our friends about how we might spend the money, and we dream about never wanting for anything ever again.
The odds are against us, of course, at least as far as the lottery goes. But that doesn't mean - at some point in our lives perhaps - we won't actually come into a major amount of cash, usually in the form of an inheritance, or perhaps through the settlement of a legal claim.
Planning before receiving such a windfall is critical, if you want to keep it and have it provide for you for the rest of your life and for your loved one's after you are gone.
Most people who receive a windfall lose it almost as quickly as they receive it.
If you see a windfall coming your way, make these plans:
1. Consider putting any large windfall you receive into an asset protection trust, first and foremost. You may even want to consider appointing a co-trustee to govern the trust alongside you so you can honestly tell friends and family that you do not have unrestricted control to your assets when they come asking for handouts.
- Hire an advisor you trust to help you invest the assets you receive in a manner that is aligned with your values and will support you to use the windfall to support the long-term life you desire; if you need recommendations to a trusted investment advisor, contact us.
- Get all of your own estate planning documents updated, including your Will, Revocable Living Trust, Health Care Directives and Power of Attorney, plus establish a relationship with a personal lawyer so if and when anything happens to you, your family will be supported to stay out of court and out of conflict.
If you anticipate receiving a windfall and need legal assistance, or if you'd like to ensure your family stays out of court and out of conflict if and when something happens to you, schedule a meeting with our office during which we can review your wishes.
This blog post is a service of Lauren Rios, Bay Area estate planning attorney, who develops trusting relationships with families for life. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk because planning is so important.