Part of the good ol’ American dream is striking it rich. When that dream actually comes true, either by inheritance or a lottery win or some other unexpected financial windfall, it can be both exhilarating and overwhelming.
A financial windfall can lead to many questions, including:
- What do I do first?
- What debts should I pay off?
- Which charities will I donate to?
- How should I best invest my money?
- Do I need a will, or do I need to update my will?
- How will the money impact the way people remember me and my family?
My advice: the first thing you should do as a newly wealthy individual is take a deep breath. Take the time to reflect on the situation. Then take steps to make the most out of your newly acquired wealth.
Assemble a Support Team
One of the most important things to remember after a financial windfall is that you don’t have to deal with everything alone. By assembling a team of trusted advisors, you can ensure the protection of your wealth and limit the fear and frustration you feel.
Your support team should include trusted individuals who provide professional:
- Legal counsel: Proactively addressing any legal issues associated with a financial windfall can help to limit their cost and frustration. A qualified attorney can help you address legal issues as they arise, including matters relating to a past divorce, a bankruptcy or creditors. An attorney’s guidance can also help you avoid legal missteps and protect your new wealth and assets.
- Financial guidance: Knowing what to do with your money is key to protecting it. A qualified financial advisor can help you create a plan for investing your money to maximize its longevity. Financial advisors also offer advice on creating a budget, repaying debts and more.
- Accounting advice: Tracking a large sum of money over time becomes difficult, as does addressing the tax issues associated with a major windfall. The support of a trusted accountant will make dealing with tax issues and budgets much easier. An accountant may also help you identify strategies for limiting tax liabilities, including charitable giving.
With trusted professionals supporting you, the task of planning for the future and protecting your new wealth becomes much more manageable.
Once the immediate concerns are taken care of, your debts are paid and your plans are made, it’s time to have fun. Do things for yourself, for loved ones and for others. Take that trip you’ve been putting off. Buy that car or house of your dreams. Donate to that charity you admire.
Enjoy your new life!
I’m Here to Help
A financial windfall of any kind can impact your family, especially if you have been divorced or are considering a divorce. I offer advice on how the money can impact a past divorce decree, including a child support or spousal support order, as well as your family and your future. Contact my family law firm to schedule a consultation today.