Many of us have at least once indulged in the fantasy of suddenly gaining a whole lot of money. Hey, it can happen. Perhaps we can win the lottery, or somehow a long lost relative leaves us their massive fortune. Exactly what would we do with a billion dollars?
Of course, it’s natural to think about buying luxury residences in Montreal when you can afford it. You may probably want to think about getting a Rolls Royce or a Lamborghini. The whole world beckons, and it’s not impossible that you may want to think about traveling to exotic islands, perhaps even in your own jet plane.
But there are lots of stories about people who win big in the lottery and then end up poorer than when they started. The same thing goes for celebrities who gain fame and fortune and then end up penniless and forgotten. If you don’t want that to happen to you then here’s a list of what you should do when you suddenly find yourself with a sudden influx of massive wealth:
- Don’t tell anyone. The first thing you need to do to protect your money is to shut up and not crow about it. That may not easy when you win the lottery and the news media publish your name, but don’t add to it. But if you’re the beneficiary of a wealthy family member, don’t crow about it.
The problem here is that some of your friends and family will be naturally envious about your good fortune. Then they will feel that they deserve to share in that literal fortune. What’s worse is that criminals may come after you to steal that money from under your nose, and their methods may involve kidnapping.
- Get a reputable lawyer. Don’t do anything else with your money. If you won the lottery, put your winning ticket in a safety deposit and take some time to calm down. Securing your money or your winning ticket is paramount. Then call a lawyer. Your best bet is someone whom you know is versed in trusts and estates. You can consult the American or Canadian Bar Association and can find an expert in wills, estates, and trusts. This lawyer will then tell you everything you have to do, and also recommend people that you will need.
- Form or consult a financial advisory team.This article won’t tell you how to invest your money properly. Usually, your lawyer should be able to recommend people and services that provide what you need. You will need advice on taxes, and on moving into a new home. Your personal security may become an issue. People will be asking for handouts and you can’t utterly ignore all of them if you want to maintain friendly relations with your family. Various professionals can include financial experts, trust managers, security people, and real estate agents, and perhaps even publicists.
- Realize your goals.For most people, the financial goal here is to maintain the wealth, and that’s different from trying to boost it. Since you already have more money than you need, you don’t have to try to double and triple your money in the future. The best goal here is to make sure that you will have money while you live, and you can still leave a sizable amount to people whom you love and will eventually leave behind.
Once you’ve planned for your money, do whatever you want. Travel the world, change careers, or even just relax in a new home. Hopefully your money doesn’t evaporate within your lifetime!