Melissa Gladney of Bedford-Stuyvesant is a recent New York lottery winner. Gladney was lucky enough to win the $1,000 A Week for Life top prize, which appropriately gives her $1,000 a week for life with a minimum prize of $1,000,000.
By winning this particular lottery, the 34-year old healthcare worker has also won some built-in financial planning. Unlike the winners of more conventional lotteries like Power Ball where the winner can choose to take a lump-sum payout or a monthly payment over a period of time, Gladney will get $1,000 every week unless she dies early, in which case the remainder of $1 million will be paid out.
After winning a lottery, the last thing a thirty-something is probably thinking is estate planning. But estate planning is relatively easy and without proper planning, Melissa Gladney will leave to New York intestacy laws who inherits her estate. And with a guaranteed $1 million estate, Gladney will probably not want to let the state decide who gets her things.
New York intestacy laws generally apply if someone dies without a will. Intestacy laws establish a default hierarchy over how your possessions are split.
A lot of young people may not think estate planning applies to them, but a sad fact is that intestacy laws often apply to young people who don’t think they need a will. Accidents can happen anytime and it is better to be prepared than not especially when you have a considerable estate.
For new New York lottery winner Melissa Gladney, one of the best pieces of advice she can get is, as a new lottery winner, to plan her estate. By planning for the future, Gladney can ensure that her windfall does not disappear, or become the source of family arguments, but can live on with her heirs.
- Find a New York Estate Planning Attorney (FindLaw)
- New York lottery winners can’t believe their luck: I read the ticket three times (New York Daily News)
- Lottery Winnings (FindLaw)