Once you receive your money, you will undoubtedly be pestered by your immediate family members to go on a spending and giving spree: "Buy me this, get me that", "Can we go to Disneyland, Hawaii, and the Caribbean all in one week?". Bobby wants a new car, Billy needs the latest mobile phone, and Suzie needs new clothes and a computer.
You need to get control of the situation immediately. This is where the family meeting comes in. With the family meeting, you are going to explain what the lottery win means for the family as a whole as well as the individual members of the family. Privileges, responsibilities, and obligations.
You will first need to establish that the new windfall is not a lottery ticket unto itself to go on an unrestricted spending spree. The money is a lucky event that will help establish financial stability for the entire family now and in the future. It is a way to get out of or improve on the current living situation so everyone in the family can enjoy life, seek opportunities, and grow as individuals.
Before any spending takes place, you need to inform everyone that certain items need to be taken care of first. Estate planning has to occur so that, in the event of a tragedy, there is a set process to access and transfer the money to surviving family members. Health and life insurance coverage also needs to be addressed, especially if no coverage exists at a place of employment or is otherwise not available. Trust funds or allowances need to be discussed, implemented, and controlled, so money is available but access is limited.
Teaching your children the value of money, and how to use it and respect it, is going to be so important in your newfound-winnings situation. They need to learn that money is not an object to be used, but a tool to enable the improvement of their livelihoods. They need to be taught that just because you won the lottery does not make them better than their friends or others, or that they get to treat people any differently.
They have the privilege now as part of the family to live in a better home, drive or be driven around in a new reliable vehicle, and enjoy family vacations. They have the responsibility of treating the money with respect, and knowing that frivolous spending actually uses up fundsso less of it is available to put towards other things that are actually wanted or needed. And they have the obligation of protecting the money by not flaunting the wealth or flashing funds around, trying to impress people or gain favours, and of doing their part in ensuring that the money remains able to generate more money to replace the amounts that have been spent.
The family meeting is an important part of dealing with and handling the changes that come with winning the lottery. Understanding what the win means to the family in general, and the family members in particular, the joys and responsibilities the money provides and demands, and the improvement of everyone's lives physically, emotionally, and mentally, will make the transition before and after the win easier to handle and put into place.
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