Jason Kurland is a lawyer who specialises in advising new millionaires. The "go-to" attorney, as he aptly refers to himself, teaches new-money-millionaires how to manage not just their wealth, but themselves too. In this insightful article, we will cover do's and don'ts that hundreds of previous lottery winners would have benefited from had they been lucky enough to have met him.
Jason describes how he got into such a niche market of advising lottery winners. According to him, a lottery winner from Connecticut just came into a huge windfall and was referred to Jason by one of his clients. "Listen, this is one lawyer I can trust with my life. I don't know if he does this sort of thing, but you might as well call him, and he'll direct you in the right way," his client said.
"He called me, and we do estate planning and stuff like that so we were able to help him, and we worked with him for about a month or so before he claimed," he went on to say.
Then another winner won $300 million in Rhode Island. Jason traversed to the island and promoted himself as the "go-to" attorney for clients like him.
What Is The First Step A Lottery Winner Should Take?
Kurland says that the first thing to do is start hiring professionals such as a lawyer, a financial planner, and an accountant. Then he suggests keeping the win a secret for as long as you can. As soon as the news gets out, he says, lottery winners can expect massive changes. He explains that the time between finding out that you have won and announcing it publically is the last chance of keeping your life as it was.
The next thing Kurland says needs to be done is start deciding what it is you'd like to do with the money. As he says, most winners' initial reaction is hardly ever what they really want to do when they think about it. He suggests taking some time out to really think about it before making the next move before people start begging for handouts.
Jason suggests that if you want to start putting some of your money into a trust, maintain anonymity as much as you can. Most winners choose to form a trust for that reason because the name of the winner will be the name of the trust itself instead of your actual name. This is vital as exposure to your name will trigger people asking for charity donations, investments and handouts.
Avoiding The Trap
According to Kurland, one of the many ways so many winners end up losing their winnings is giving into half-baked investment ideas too soon. He says that winners can expect to be hounded by someone suggesting real estate investment opportunities which were never strategically planned.
He says that winners should allow their attorney to be "the bad guy" when it comes to turning prospectors down. "So anybody who asks you for any kind of investment, tell them that you've hired this attorney, and the only way he took you on as a client is if he got the final say of where you spend it," he reiterates. "Then I would talk to the client, and figure out what they want to do—if they wanted to spend on something, then I would let them spend on something, but I would explain that maybe it's not a great idea, and if they were just afraid to say no, then they use me as the guy who says no."