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Powerball Winner – Avoid Probate, Get a Plan

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“Why has the Powerball jackpot attracted so much attention in the media recently?”; “What were the odds of winning the jackpot?”; and “What should the winners do with that money?”.

Forty-four out of the fifty states participate in the Powerball in addition to Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The only states who do not participate are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, and Utah.

In California lottery purchases rake in around $5 billion with an estimated $1.3 million going to state programs, including programs to promote education. The state that accumulates the most in lottery revenue is New York, nearly doubling California at a whopping $9.2 billion.

Recently the Powerball changed the odds of winning to 1 out of 292.2 million, however that didn’t stop the recent frenzy of Americans rushing to spend $2 to earn the chance at winning the most recent jackpot of a near $1.5 billion. The current jackpot is the largest in u.S. History, in fact, no other jackpot has crossed the $1 billion threshold – it has accumulated money since November 7th of 2015 growing larger and larger each week.

According to official reports three people across the U.S. Held the lucky numbers so the lottery will be split three ways with each winner walking home with about half a billion dollars.

Should you be one of the lucky people to win this enormous sum of money there are a couple of things that you might want to keep in mind. The first being how you will accept the money. You can choose to accept the total sum over the course of years or you can elect to have a smaller lump sum outright (which for this current lottery is estimated to be greater than $900 million). Financial planners and estate planning experts strongly suggest that you discuss this with an advisor, before making the decision that is right for you financially. Additionally, they will also suggest keeping your winnings quiet, avoid posting on social media or alerting your family members as it is incredibly likely that long-lost relatives and distant friends will come knocking begging for a slice of your good fortune.

However, perhaps the greatest piece of advice – we can give here freely. To ensure that this money does not dissipate quickly, and that it lasts in a secure place for your family, the smartest thing to do is to meet with an estate planning attorney who will work with you to create an estate plan that will include various trusts.

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