Hobbies Contests How to Hire a Lottery Lawyer to Manage Your Winnings Your First Call After Winning a Jackpot Should Be to a Good Lawyer Share PINTEREST Email Print A Good Lawyer Can Help You Make the Most of Lottery Winnings. Image (c) Imagezoo / Getty Images Contests Tips and Tricks Basics Dream Vacations Win Money Win Electronics Home and Garden Lotteries Win Vehicles Jewelry and Clothing Types of Contests Creative Contests Scams Learn More By Sandra Grauschopf Sandra Grauschopf Facebook Twitter Writer University of Maryland Sandra Grauschopf has been working in the contests industry since 2002. She is a passionate sweeper, with tens of thousands of dollars worth of prize wins to her name, and she has been sharing advice about how to be a winner for over a decade. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 04/30/22 If you win the lottery, you might think your biggest decision will be what to buy first. But the truth is, you'll need help to keep as much of that money as possible to spend down the road. And the first step to getting that help is o hire a lottery lawyer. What Is a Lottery Lawyer? Big lottery winners are faced with an overwhelming number of decisions to make before they even claim a jackpot. To make things even more confusing, each state that participates in the lottery has its own procedures for claiming a prize and minimizing tax liability. That's why a lawyer's help comes in handy. A lottery lawyer is part of the advisory team that winners should put together to help them wade through the legalities of claiming a prize without making costly mistakes. A good lottery lawyer can protect jackpot winners, their families, and their hard-won cash. You don't necessarily need a lawyer who brands themselves as a lottery lawyer, but you do want someone who has experience managing large windfalls. Good lottery lawyers have experience with taxes, estate planning, setting up trusts, and protecting assets. What Lottery Lawyers Do for Jackpot Winners If you've just won a bundle of cash, you might balk at giving a big chunk of it to a lawyer right off the bat. However, hiring a good lawyer really pays off in the long run. Here are some examples of what lottery lawyers do for jackpot winners: Protecting Anonymity When you win the lottery, you want to keep the news as private as you can to avoid being the target of lawsuits, scams, and straight-out begging for cash. But keeping the word from spreading isn't a simple task. Some states let lottery winners claim their prizes anonymously. Others let winners claim in the name of a business, reducing the publicity they have to deal with. A good lottery lawyer can help winners protect their anonymity. Another option is to set up a trust to claim the prize. Setting up a trust not only helps protect the winner's identity but also prevents the winner from spending too much too quickly. A lottery lawyer can help determine whether a trust is beneficial for the winner; if so, they can help set it up. Putting Together a Trustworthy Advisory Team The lottery lawyer isn't the only important team member that a new jackpot winner needs. An accountant and a financial advisor with experience with large windfalls are also critical. A lottery lawyer can help winners pick the other members of their advisory team. Advising About Payout Options New lottery winners need to decide whether to take a lump sum or an annuity payout. A lottery winner can keep them apprised about the legal and financial ramifications. Because they know the winner's financial status, they can give better advice than the winner would receive by reading articles online. Avoiding Common Mistakes An experienced lottery lawyer knows the pitfalls inexperienced lottery winners face. Lawyers can help their clients decide the best time to claim a prize and advise them how to keep their tickets safe until then, avoid overspending, manage their safety, and more. If you don't want to become a lottery curse victim, a lottery lawyer is a valuable ally who can help you manage your wealth safely. Quashing Frivolous Lawsuits Lottery winners are targets for people who want to scam their way into money. Frivolous lawsuits are one of the ways that unscrupulous people try to fleece jackpot winners. A lottery lawyer not only defends winners from these lawsuits but also anticipates the ways that winners are vulnerable and help them to avoid becoming targets. How to Hire a Lottery Lawyer Winners spend a lot of time with their financial team, so it's important to find people they trust and feel comfortable with. And, of course, the lawyer should be familiar with the unique problems lottery winners face. It's not a decision that any winner should make lightly. In 2020, self-branded lottery lawyer Jason Kurland was indicted for stealing over $100 million from his clients. You don't want to trust an unscrupulous person with your winnings. Some of the things to consider when hiring a lottery lawyer include: Experience A good lottery lawyer knows the ins and outs of lottery law and has represented other big winners and people who have received unexpected financial windfalls. They should have proven experience with tax law, trust planning, asset protection, and other financial considerations in your specific statet. Price Even jackpot winners need to be careful not to overspend on legal fees. A more expensive lawyer isn't necessarily a better lawyer, and a good lottery lawyer shouldn't offer to take a percentage of your winnings. Instead, you should settle on a reasonable hourly fee or retainer. The Laffey Matrix is one way to get ballpark figures for how much it costs to hire a lawyer. Recommendations Do some research to find out whether other clients have had good or bad experiences with any lawyers you are considering. If you don't know anyone who has used them personally, an internet search might reveal compliments or complaints. There are also databases of respected lawyers that you can use, and you can ask any lawyers that you are considering hiring to give you references. Clean Disciplinary Record If a lawyer has had disciplinary action taken against them, you'll want to know about it before hiring them. There are databases that let you look up disciplinary actions by state so you can research the lawyers you're considering. Personality Don't overlook your emotional reaction to any lottery lawyer you consider hiring. You need to be able to trust your lawyer and feel good about working with them. Sometimes, even very good lawyers just don't mesh with you, and that's fine. Once you know what you're looking for in a lottery lawyer, interview several candidates to ensure you are finding the proper fit. If you aren't sure where to start your hiring process, reach out to your local Bar Association. They can help point you in the right direction. When Should You Hire a Lottery Lawyer? If you win a large prize in a lottery, getting a good lawyer should be a priority. You'll want to have representation before you tell anyone outside of your immediate circle of family and trusted friends that you've won, and certainly before you claim your prize.