Do you need a Florida lotto attorney? If you play the lotto in Florida, then you should know how important it will be for you to have an attorney if you do strike it big. Today we’re going to take a look at the reason for this as well as answer a few commonly asked questions about the law as it pertains to the Florida lottery.
Florida Lotto Attorney: Why Do I Need a Lottery Attorney?
Do you play the lotto? If you are like many people, then you either religiously pick up a ticket for each drawing or you try your luck once in a while (usually when that jackpot starts stacking up!) But did you know that you really should have an attorney if you do get lucky?
Why Do You Need a Lotto Attorney in Florida?
The truth is that no matter where you live, if you beat the incredible odds and win the lottery, one of the first things you should do is contact an attorney whom you trust. Ideally, this will be someone who you have worked with before simply because once anyone finds out about your lottery winnings, they are going to be very hard to trust.
The trust factor is actually one of the reasons why you need to have an attorney on hand in the first place. A trusted legal representative can help you with a variety of issues that can present a problem when you are the lottery winner.
Claiming Your Winnings
One of the first reasons that you need an attorney as a lottery player is so that you can claim your winnings.
In the state of Florida, lottery winners are not permitted to remain anonymous. In fact Florida law requires that the Florida Lottery give the winner’s name, city of residence, game won, date won and the amount won to any third party who requests that information. Even though the Florida Lottery winners’ home addresses and telephone numbers remain confidential, this can still be very unnerving, particularly if you win a considerable amount of money!
One of the first things that your trusted estate and trust lawyer can do is to talk to you about the tax ramifications of each payout option when it comes to your lottery winnings. Do you take the lump sum? Or do you take the payments over a period? And what are the tax implications of each? One you have decided this, the next step is to put together a team of professionals if necessary. This team may include your attorney, a trustee, a financial planner, and an accountant.
Your estate and trust attorney can also help you to setup a lottery trust. Once you have set up a lottery trust, your attorney will work with you as you assign a neutral party to control the funds in the trust through management and investment. This will help you to profit from your winnings as well as to maintain control over spending. In some cases, a trust can also help to maintain your anonymity. So, for example, where your name would usually be given when requested of the Florida Lottery by a third party, however, if you set up a lottery trust, only the name of that trust would have to be divulged.
The way a trust works is to transfer your winning ticket into the name of the trust. Then, the winnings can be claimed on behalf of the trust by your attorney or by the trustee.
A lottery trust is also helpful when you share your winning lotto ticket with another party. For example, if you and two co-workers purchased a lottery ticket together. Having the ticket transferred to a trust ensures that no single person from the group claims the winnings (since just one person is able to claim the winnings.) Instead, the trust would claim the winnings and then it could distribute the money evenly between the three parties.
Should You Meet With Your Attorney Before Claiming Your Winnings?
YES! Before you turn in your winning lottery ticket, you should consult with your attorney. Not only because your attorney can help you to decide whether to take a lump sum payment or a monthly payment, but because if you decide to set up a lottery trust, you have to set that trust up before turning in your winning ticket. The trust must already be in place in order for the winning ticket to be claimed by that entity. If you claim the ticket before setting up the trust, your personal information will be revealed and you cannot use a trust to maintain anonymity.
How Else Can Your Attorney Help You With Your Lottery Winnings?
There are various other ways that your attorney can help you with your winnings from the lottery and these vary depending on your personal situation as well as how much money you win.
Your lawyers most important job is to help you to secure your personal information, secure your winnings, and work with you to ensure that no one takes advantage of you as you set up a system of management for your funds.
Are You Looking For a Reputable Florida Lotto Attorney?
If you are looking for a Florida lottery attorney who can help you to navigate the waters after your lotto win, Weidner Law is here to help. To make an appointment for a consultation with attorney Weidner just call us today at 727-954-8752!