As many of our readers are probably aware by now, a recent Powerball lottery jackpot of $337 million went to a lucky winner in Michigan. With such a windfall coming to the winner, it is easy to image that the individual or group holding the winning ticket probably won't have to worry about money anymore. That is likely to be true in some respects, but with that type of money it is best to start making some plans on how to accommodate the associated changes into a normal life.
While the winner is likely starting to dream big about all the potential benefits that come with this type of fortune, it would be a good thing for the winner to also consider changing a few things and planning for the future. If the winner had a will or estate plan before, that plan is now most likely almost completely irrelevant. The winner will probably need to start estate planning from scratch, because that type of money will need to be carefully accounted for.
In making changes to a will or estate plan in light of a recent windfall -- be it lottery winnings or something more common, like an inheritance -- steps need to be made to properly designate property distribution. Trusts are extremely useful in this type of situation, but the options can be almost endless. It will depend on each individual planner.
The recent lottery winnings are a dramatic example of when someone should consider changes to their will. More common occurrences, such as the birth of a child, the death of a spouse or a smaller change in assets are some of the best types of occurrences to begin considering adjustments to an estate plan.
Source: MLive, "Michigan Powerball winner should spend a little, plan a lot," Ron Fonger, Aug. 16, 2012