Did you stand in line at the local grocery store or gas station to give your lucky numbers a try this week? We now know that there was only one winning ticket with all numbers correct for the Wednesday evening PowerBall drawing, and that ticket was sold in the Northern California town of Milpitas. The winner, who has yet to come forward, will increase his or her bank account with a $425 million jackpot. It is the sixth largest payout in history.
Many of us have imagined at some point what we would do if we won the lottery. Maybe you envision a very satisfying conversation with that boss who never appreciated your work. Or perhaps you would buy your parents their dream home to thank them for all they sacrificed for you. Do you see a building named after you at your alma mater? A year spent traveling the world on your new yacht? Winning hundreds of millions of dollars certainly allows a person to dream big.
We've also all heard stories, though, of the downside of the lottery. Family members you've never met show up asking for money. You fear for the safety of your children as you suddenly become a target for criminals. And sometimes it just can be hard to lose a life of anonymity. Lottery winners, and people who come into a lot of money for any reason, must surround themselves with wise counsel and trusted friends.
Part of thinking about your money, whether you struck it rich playing the lottery or spent decades working, investing and saving, is creating a solid legal plan. How do you want your money to work for you now? What will happen to your money after you die? How will your children enjoy long-term security? Where you do want to make sure your money doesn't go?