How would you cope with winning a big lottery jackpot?
After the initial disbelief, followed by the inevitable excitement, it might dawn on you that there are a few complications around the corner.
Believe it or not, some winners feel as though they don’t deserve the money and end up dishing it out to friends and family. Others have to deal with long-lost relatives and acquaintances showing up at the door for a share of their windfall.
It’s all enough to leave your head spinning. So, this week we’ve put together a couple of tips to help you manage your friends and family when your luck finally comes in.
Depending on where you live, the people behind the lottery may have every right to splash your name and photo across the various media.
You need to prepare yourself.
While you might want to tell everyone and anyone that you’re a jackpot winner, it’s better to keep quiet for as long as you can.
Other than your partner or spouse, experts recommend that you don’t tell anyone about your newfound wealth until you’ve consulted with financial professionals. Even the most well-meaning of friends and family may not have the soundest of financial advice – or they could be out for a little something.
The best thing you can do, in fact, is get away for a while. Disappear, even if it’s just for a few weeks, to avoid friends and family hounding you for a piece of the prize. It’s the perfect opportunity to settle yourself and start adjusting to a potentially new lifestyle.
Ask many lottery winners what one of their biggest regrets is, and they’re likely to say their decision to go public with their jackpot win. Haste can cost you later, as a queue of beneficiaries lines up asking for a handout in some form or another.
There are also the requests for gifts and loans from friends, family, co-workers and even the people you went to school with all those years ago.
People come crawling out of the woodwork when you win the lottery. If there is any way you can remain anonymous and in control of your money, do it. That’s why a getaway soon after you win works so well.
As you can gather, the trickiest issue is dealing with relatives. Once you hit a lottery jackpot, expect everyone from your aunts and uncles to your long-lost cousins ten times removed to come calling.
Suddenly, you’re popular and very much loved.
Of course, you want to make sure your nearest and dearest are happy and taken care of, and go for it, but carefully and after talking to the experts.
Unless you have a career in taxes or finance, you’re going to need to talk to the professionals. When you hit a big jackpot win, make it your priority to surround yourself with experts, from an attorney who knows the ins and outs of financial matters and tax to a reputable financial advisor who knows how to deal with lottery winnings.
These are the people who will help you make the most important decisions for your new life. If you feel unsure of advice you receive at any point, you have every right to get a second opinion, too.
When you sit down to consult with your team of professionals, get their input on how to manage friends and family. If you do want to share your good fortune with them, it is the experts who will advise on how much and how to go about it.
Do what’s right for you, but don’t leave yourself out of pocket trying to help everyone that comes knocking.
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