Use a Massachusetts Lottery Lawyer to Create a Lottery Trust
One of the most frequent pieces of advice new lottery winners get from attorneys and other previous winners is to try as hard as possible to keep your anonymity. If your name gets out, there’s a strong chance you could find yourself quickly harassed with calls and requests for money.
Unfortunately, there are only seven states in which you have the legal right to remain anonymous: Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas. Still, there are ways you can protect your anonymity even if you live in other states.
Consider the recent example of a woman in New Hampshire who won a $559.7 million Powerball jackpot. The woman identified in court as Jane Doe had to sue to protect her anonymity. She ultimately succeeded, getting both her money and her anonymity.
The New Hampshire Lottery Commission approved the payment of the winnings to a trust the woman set up, and several weeks later the Hillsborough County Superior Court Southern District ruled she would be able to keep her anonymity in a court victory that could result in a major shift in legal precedent in the state.
In Massachusetts, winners can used a lottery lawyer to establish a trust and keep their identity anonymous when claiming their prize at the Mass Lottery headquarters in Dorchester.
Steps You Should Take to Protect Your Privacy
Sure, the chances of you actually winning the lottery are quite low. But if you end up being the lucky winner, you should take several steps to protect your anonymity. These include:
- Sign the ticket immediately: If you wish to remain anonymous, consult a knowledgeable trust and estates attorney right away on how to sign the ticket in the name of the trust. You need to establish ownership of the winning lottery ticket—the longer you leave the ticket unsigned, the more you risk someone taking it and claiming it for themselves. If you must sign it, sign it small so you can leave space to add trustees and the name of the trust you’ll establish.
- Hire an attorney: Consult a Massachusetts Lottery attorney, who specializes in trusts and estates in your area to help you through the rest of the process. Your lawyer will also be able to recommend a financial planner who can help you determine how to handle taxes, gifts and charitable donations. In working with your lotto attorney, you can establish a trust (or multiple trusts) to handle the winnings. Your attorney will be well-versed in lottery winnings laws in your state and be able to help you act in such a way that allows you to protect your identity.
- Don’t tell anyone: This is probably the hardest step of all for most lottery winners. Obviously, winning the lottery is an exciting, life-changing moment. But as soon as you tell even one other person, the chances of the word getting out greatly increases. Do not go around telling people you’ve won the lottery, or even worse, promise to share your winnings.
Contact an Experienced Estate Attorney to Keep Your Lottery Winnings Private
Whether it is PowerBall, Mega Millions, Megabucks, Lucky for Life, The Numbers Game, MassCash, Keno, All or Nothing, or a Scratch Ticket, for more tips about how you can protect your identity, while claiming your lottery winnings, contact our experienced Mass lottery attorneys through this site or call us toll-free at 1-800-701-0352 for more information on estate planning and a Massachusetts Lottery trust to ensure your privacy.