Lottery Lawyer Kurland to Moneynews: Winners Should ‘Stay Within Themselves’ to Avoid Going Broke

Friday, 08 Mar 2013 01:43 PM

By Dan Weil and David Nelson

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Tales are rife of big lottery winners who go bust, and lawyer Jason Kurland, who is famous for representing lottery winners, says those who fare best are those who don’t change their lifestyles.

Newsmax TV asked Kurland how someone can blow through $100 million. “In reality if you are taking the lump sum, which I advise everybody to do, it’s now $60 million,” because that $100 million is an annuitized number, he says. After the 25 percent federal withholding tax and your state withholding tax, you might be down to $40 million.”

“It’s still a lot of money, but a little easier to squander than the $100 million, and then, listen, con men come in all shapes and sizes,” Kurland says. “So somebody comes with a great investment opportunity. One of your friends may say listen this is a no-lose, you know, give me $10 million startup money.”

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So there goes $10 million. “You have children, and you want to give something to each child,” he says. “So Corvettes and houses are being bought. There you go.” So by the time you’re done, “you can’t afford the next ticket,” Kurland says.

Editor’s Note: Put the World’s Top Financial Minds to Work for You

Emotional support is one of his key services. “We know the process, and we know how people feel,” he says. “The most successful winners are the ones that stay within themselves. They want to stay who they are. They want to keep their life. They don’t want to lose the relationships that they have.”

Lottery wins spawn many divorces, “which could be a good or bad thing depending on how strong your relationship was,” Kurland says. “No, it could be a disaster.”

Lottery winners may want to establish a trust to hold their loot. First, that give you some anonymity, Kurland notes.

“When somebody wins $200 or $300 million, the last thing they want is their face and name all over the TV saying that you are now one of the wealthiest people in the world. You have friends and family that you never knew existed coming out.”

Friends and family won’t be the only vultures once you hit pay-dirt, Kurland says. “Two weeks later, every charity known to man is calling you and pulling on your heart strings,” he says. “A lot of them do good work, and you want to give them money. You need some sense of anonymity to stay within yourself and to be able to continue life.”

Anonymity is important for protecting your family too, Kurland says. “There are stories where there are kidnappings of family members.”

There can be tax and estate advantages with a trust too.

Editor’s Note: Put the World’s Top Financial Minds to Work for You

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