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splitting the jackpot prize with family members.

Topic closed. 27 replies. Last post 9 years ago by KY Floyd.

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justxploring's avatar - villiarna
Wandering Aimlessly
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Posted: August 16, 2007, 7:43 pm - IP Logged

KY Floyd writes:  I think JustEx's comment could be misinterpreted, so here's some basic info about having something notarized. What you write doesn't mean any more or less depending on whether or not it has been notarized. A Notary doesn't verify any claims or information in a document and they don't make any judgements about the legality of the document. Having it notarized only provides proof that the signature and date are authentic. The notary is simply a formal witness to the signing of the document.

I Agree!  However, the reason I mentioned the notary is that he/she is authorized to verify your identity by asking for the appropriate form(s) of photo IDs.   Just like a will that has been witnessed and/or notarized, it adds a little more validity to it, but that doesn't mean someone won't try to contest it.

    AuntiePat's avatar - animaniacs10
    Just outside of Cleveland, OH
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    Posted: August 16, 2007, 9:12 pm - IP Logged

    KY Floyd writes:  I think JustEx's comment could be misinterpreted, so here's some basic info about having something notarized. What you write doesn't mean any more or less depending on whether or not it has been notarized. A Notary doesn't verify any claims or information in a document and they don't make any judgements about the legality of the document. Having it notarized only provides proof that the signature and date are authentic. The notary is simply a formal witness to the signing of the document.

    I Agree!  However, the reason I mentioned the notary is that he/she is authorized to verify your identity by asking for the appropriate form(s) of photo IDs.   Just like a will that has been witnessed and/or notarized, it adds a little more validity to it, but that doesn't mean someone won't try to contest it.

    I agree with KYFloyd and JustX, also

    The only reason I want verification as to date and time is to prove what my intentions are in the event of a large winning lottery ticket prior to the event of purchasing and winning--so a Notary stamp should be adequate to prove date and time. 

    Besides, as Floyd points out, the simple act of Notarization provides evidence of the lottery ticket owner's INTENT (and the fact that this intent predated the win)--which legally can go a long way .  In a criminal matter brought before a court, you need clear cut evidence of wrong doing--in a civil matter you merely need preponderance of evidence--just ask O.J. and Ron Goldman's parents what the difference is. 

     But, unless there was a legal challenge to this distribution, I am thinking that demonstration of ticket owner's intent would be legally sufficient.  And , in my case, the only members of my family who would challenge the validity of this document have already (as of this afternoon--thanks KYFloyd--my friend at the bank grinned as she notarized it and informed me that I had just jinxed myself--she's probably right) been made party to it.  The only part I wasn't certain of was the caveat that this document would expire at midnight of 12/31/07 and would be valid and binding for all Mega Millions' jackpots of 30M or greater.

    This was, for me a REALLY good thread--some of you gave voice to my concerns which others answered--some better than others--but we're all just trying to help one another here!!


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      Posted: August 16, 2007, 9:20 pm - IP Logged

      Ky Floyd will complain about every single documentation, rule, announcement, whatever, They really don't mean what they say in those documents....LOL

       

      I know that Ky Floyd is not only well versed , but a very good writer, in as, holding no punches when it comes to realism. This being said, He is astute, and I respect that in a person.

      Go Floyd.....!!!


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        Posted: August 16, 2007, 9:25 pm - IP Logged

        Ky Floyd will complain about every single documentation, rule, announcement, whatever, They really don't mean what they say in those documents....LOL

         

        I know that Ky Floyd is not only well versed , but a very good writer, in as, holding no punches when it comes to realism. This being said, He is astute, and I respect that in a person.

        Go Floyd.....!!!

        In the next series, we will learn patience. God willing, I have none...lol

        Look...it's time we come to a single conclusion, about anything. I think that's the first step. All agreeing to one important subject, and sticking with it.

        Who wants to start first?

          csfb's avatar - Lottery-001.jpg

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          Posted: August 17, 2007, 8:52 pm - IP Logged

          Comments please.  My SO has been out of town recently looking for work and when he does find work again, I suspect it will be some distance away so we will only see each other periodically.  So I wrote the email below to myself at a different email address so the dates shown on the complete header would show when it had been sent and received.  (My SO does not have his own computer, and besides I wouldn't want to trust someone else to keep the record which could potentially affect my taxes.) 

          I will be purchasing Mega Millions tickets periodically in the upcoming months.  During (name)'s unemployment and/or absence, one-fifth of the purchase price of the tickets is to be considered to be a gift from me to him and the tickets are to be considered a “pool” of the two of us in that proportion, even though he is unable (due to finances or to location) during those weeks to contribute to the purchase.  Thus, in the event of a large or small win, winnings will be shared in a 20% to 80% proportion and each of us will be responsible for the taxes on our portion just as though he had contributed one-fifth of the purchase price from his own earnings rather from gift money from me.

          Any recommendations for a change in wording?  Anything important I omitted?  Would a different method be better in showing the date of the intent rather than by using email headers to do it?  I realize that any answers cannot be construed as legal advice and that I'll have to take my chances on the accuracy, but I'm not about to pay an attorney for advice on something with as low a probability as a jackpot lottery.

          "SO"?  I don't know what that means, but if that translates to "Significant Other" as in Husband and Wife or Domestic Partner as in sharing board, bed, bank, and beyond, then the division of property (including future income) will be way more sophisticated.

          The division of lottery winnings will depend on how your relationship with the "SO" is characterized and what jurisdiction you live in.

          For example, if you're married, don't have a prenuptial agreement, and living in California, and you win a lottery, the winning is shared equally by both spouses.  The winning is considered income incurred during the marriage.

          An e-mail written to yourself, without more,  would be at best a self-serving, unilateral document, with little probative value; and at worst, a mere scrap of paper.

          Do remember that saying it so, doesn't make it so. 

                   Sun Smiley             

            Big Hitter's avatar - tdspin17 e0.gif
            Constitutional Money Is Real Money
            Brick City
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            Posted: August 17, 2007, 9:31 pm - IP Logged

            Comments please.  My SO has been out of town recently looking for work and when he does find work again, I suspect it will be some distance away so we will only see each other periodically.  So I wrote the email below to myself at a different email address so the dates shown on the complete header would show when it had been sent and received.  (My SO does not have his own computer, and besides I wouldn't want to trust someone else to keep the record which could potentially affect my taxes.) 

            I will be purchasing Mega Millions tickets periodically in the upcoming months.  During (name)'s unemployment and/or absence, one-fifth of the purchase price of the tickets is to be considered to be a gift from me to him and the tickets are to be considered a “pool” of the two of us in that proportion, even though he is unable (due to finances or to location) during those weeks to contribute to the purchase.  Thus, in the event of a large or small win, winnings will be shared in a 20% to 80% proportion and each of us will be responsible for the taxes on our portion just as though he had contributed one-fifth of the purchase price from his own earnings rather from gift money from me.

            Any recommendations for a change in wording?  Anything important I omitted?  Would a different method be better in showing the date of the intent rather than by using email headers to do it?  I realize that any answers cannot be construed as legal advice and that I'll have to take my chances on the accuracy, but I'm not about to pay an attorney for advice on something with as low a probability as a jackpot lottery.

            I am not a lawyer (nor do I play one on TV). This document is called a contract. In order for it to become valid all parties involved must agree to it VOLUNTARILY. Once the parties have agreed, the document can be submitted as proof of INTENT. There are many almost free resources available at your local law library to help you properly draw up a contract of this type. They prolly have a "fill in the blanks" standard contract form at Staples or Office Depot. The key here is getting your SO to agree to and sign the document. Snail mail works great for this. No computer needed. I ran a lottery pool in NJ many years ago and had to have each member sign a document similar to this. Good luck!

            Whatever you fear most has no power - it is your fear that has the power.
            Oprah Winfrey

            Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
            (attributed to) Albert Einstein

            I have failed many times, and that's why I am a success.
            Michael Jordan

            My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals
            himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.

            Albert Einstein

              Uff Da!'s avatar - InCelebration 001.jpg
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              Posted: August 17, 2007, 10:22 pm - IP Logged

              "SO"?  I don't know what that means, but if that translates to "Significant Other" as in Husband and Wife or Domestic Partner as in sharing board, bed, bank, and beyond, then the division of property (including future income) will be way more sophisticated.

              The division of lottery winnings will depend on how your relationship with the "SO" is characterized and what jurisdiction you live in.

              For example, if you're married, don't have a prenuptial agreement, and living in California, and you win a lottery, the winning is shared equally by both spouses.  The winning is considered income incurred during the marriage.

              An e-mail written to yourself, without more,  would be at best a self-serving, unilateral document, with little probative value; and at worst, a mere scrap of paper.

              Do remember that saying it so, doesn't make it so. 

              Yes, I intended SO to mean Significant Other, not married.  Since the state in which I live is not a common law marriage state, an unmarried domestic partner will receive nothing other than what is specifically gifted (or willed) to him/her unless it is jointly owned.  I feel that the 20% I indicated is an appropriate amount for our specific circumstances at this time.

              My intent in using the email to myself was specifically that it would be a self-serving, unilateral document.   After all, giving away something which is 100% mine doesn't take any one else's approval.  I'd hoped that the email date would serve as a document showing date of intent because I would then be able to change the percentage up or down and add or subtract additional individuals from week to week depending upon the size of the jackpot or even what mood I was in that week without embarrassing myself by having to go to a notary every time I made a change.  I'd hoped that all I'd need to do was delete the old email and send a new one.  I do appreciate people's comments, though, that the IRS would likely not accept this as showing date of intent.

              Sooooooooooo, I spent some more time thinking through what other gifts I'd want to make from a large win, came up with two documents: one for a jackpot cash value of $50,000 or more and one for under that amount.  I went to the bank yesterday to have it notarized - and there was no notary there.  Today I called first and a notary was there, so I went back.  But she told me that she could not notarize it without the proper specific form attached to the bottom of the document.  And she didn't have a copy of the form that she said needed to be used.  She suggested that I pick up such a form in an office supply store.  But the small town in which I live no longer has an office supply store.  LOL!  Such is life in a small town America!  Anyway, I finally found a form on the web which should work in my state and will re-do the documents with that form added and take it back to the bank next week.  In the meantime, in the remote chance of a win on tonight's drawing, I mailed a copy of the document to myself.  I expect that should I win, taking the sealed envelope to the attorney which showed the date and time stamp of mailing would allow him to verify the date of intent.  I don't see that verification of signature should be of any concern in this case if I'm the one holding the winning ticket.

                Uff Da!'s avatar - InCelebration 001.jpg
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                Posted: August 17, 2007, 10:34 pm - IP Logged

                I am not a lawyer (nor do I play one on TV). This document is called a contract. In order for it to become valid all parties involved must agree to it VOLUNTARILY. Once the parties have agreed, the document can be submitted as proof of INTENT. There are many almost free resources available at your local law library to help you properly draw up a contract of this type. They prolly have a "fill in the blanks" standard contract form at Staples or Office Depot. The key here is getting your SO to agree to and sign the document. Snail mail works great for this. No computer needed. I ran a lottery pool in NJ many years ago and had to have each member sign a document similar to this. Good luck!

                WHAT?  You've got to be kidding me that someone has to agree to accept a gift in writing before the document can be accepted as proof of intent of giving that gift!  I fully understand a lottery pool where each person is paying for their share would need both parties signatures, but can't see why it would apply to a gift.  If I create a trust and choose to gift money to relatives or friends in that trust, they don't have to agree in advance to accept that money.  Do they? 

                  Big Hitter's avatar - tdspin17 e0.gif
                  Constitutional Money Is Real Money
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                  Posted: August 18, 2007, 2:26 pm - IP Logged

                  WHAT?  You've got to be kidding me that someone has to agree to accept a gift in writing before the document can be accepted as proof of intent of giving that gift!  I fully understand a lottery pool where each person is paying for their share would need both parties signatures, but can't see why it would apply to a gift.  If I create a trust and choose to gift money to relatives or friends in that trust, they don't have to agree in advance to accept that money.  Do they? 

                  No kidding. What you described in your original posting placed "conditions" on the "gift" hence it is no longer a "gift", it has now become a contract. You are giving (paying) for consideration as far as the tax situation is concerned. A true gift caries no conditions. I have been down this road a ways and spent many billable hours on lawyers having it explained to me. Besides, the crooks at the IRS will do everthing in their power to discredit any aggrement you present them with since all they want is the money anyway. Better to present as ironclad a case as possible. Get a signed agreement.

                  Whatever you fear most has no power - it is your fear that has the power.
                  Oprah Winfrey

                  Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
                  (attributed to) Albert Einstein

                  I have failed many times, and that's why I am a success.
                  Michael Jordan

                  My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals
                  himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.

                  Albert Einstein

                    Uff Da!'s avatar - InCelebration 001.jpg
                    Washington State
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                    Posted: August 19, 2007, 10:51 pm - IP Logged

                    No kidding. What you described in your original posting placed "conditions" on the "gift" hence it is no longer a "gift", it has now become a contract. You are giving (paying) for consideration as far as the tax situation is concerned. A true gift caries no conditions. I have been down this road a ways and spent many billable hours on lawyers having it explained to me. Besides, the crooks at the IRS will do everthing in their power to discredit any aggrement you present them with since all they want is the money anyway. Better to present as ironclad a case as possible. Get a signed agreement.

                    It sounds as though my safest bet for splitting any win with my SO would be to just wait until I win and then marry him!  Then I could gift as much to him as I wanted under the spousal gift provisions but limit it to no more than I wanted with a properly drawn prenuptial agreement.  LOL!

                    Seriously, though, I appreciate your pointing this out to me.  I remember now that I'd read ages ago about the "no conditions" on a gift, but had forgotten that.  I did, however, drop the conditions regarding the tax situation anyway after my original posting, since I discovered that in my state there can be only one winner, which may be an entity such as a trust.  And I assumed the taxation would be covered under trust laws in the state so that part best be left out of the document.

                    But now I have a new problem.  I had planned to also gift a partial interest in the tickets to my siblings and other relatives.  At my age with a sizable win, that would only make sense.  Unfortunately, most of them live in three different states all of which are half way across the country.  I imagine the law requires that each be represented by an attorney in his/her own state for any trust in which they have partial ownership.  I really don't see any way around that one, as I don't know where I'd find an attorney licensed in four different states that far apart.  But since there can only be one winner, it would have to be just one trust.  With a jackpot like MM this week, the difference between gifting before the draw and gifting after would be millions of dollars in gift and generation-skipping taxes.  Boo to Washington State lottery for not permitting the writing of separate checks to owners of a group-owned lottery "pool."  Now it is back to the drawing board for determining the best way to go should I win.

                      justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                      Wandering Aimlessly
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                      Posted: August 20, 2007, 12:30 am - IP Logged

                      I imagine the law requires that each be represented by an attorney in his/her own state for any trust in which they have partial ownership.  

                      Nope. There really is no such thing.  The only legal counseling required is when you create the trust and appoint the trustee.  Actually, there's no law at all that says you have to hire an attorney to do anything.  You can even represent yourself in a murder case. 

                      I keep reading posts where people use the word trust as if it's a way to get out of paying taxes if you win a lot of money.  It isn't.  A family trust doesn't mean you take a chunk of money and divvy it up. 

                      I assume that as long as you are alive and well, you would want the trust to be "Revocable" which means you have control of it and can change it.  The IRS isn't going to turn a blind eye and just let someone call a windfall a trust and skip paying income tax. There is no "partial ownership" of a trust just so taxes can be avoided.  You would be the trustee, I assume, so you will manage the assets of the trust. Then you decide on its distribution. Most of the time, a trust is created to protect one's assets in the case of serious illness and in death.  It also helps your heirs, because usually a trust, along with a will, helps avoid probate.

                      I'm not saying that there aren't advantages to various types of trusts, but for the most part they were originally designed to protect one's assets.  The best thing for everyone who has lots of money and is concerned about their relatives paying income tax is to die in 2010 when there will be no estate tax at all.

                        Wink

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                        Posted: August 20, 2007, 11:46 am - IP Logged

                        I am not a lawyer (nor do I play one on TV). This document is called a contract. In order for it to become valid all parties involved must agree to it VOLUNTARILY. Once the parties have agreed, the document can be submitted as proof of INTENT. There are many almost free resources available at your local law library to help you properly draw up a contract of this type. They prolly have a "fill in the blanks" standard contract form at Staples or Office Depot. The key here is getting your SO to agree to and sign the document. Snail mail works great for this. No computer needed. I ran a lottery pool in NJ many years ago and had to have each member sign a document similar to this. Good luck!

                        Uff Da doesn't need a contract. Since the notary is insisting on aspecific legal form I'm assuming it's an affidavit. An affidavit is simply a sworn statement of facts, as the person making the affidavit believes them.  The only purpose of the document is to establish an intent to make a gift of the ticket(s) before  the drawing takes place, so Uff Da is simply swearing that any tickets that are bought will be shared. 

                        Since Uff Da is only making a gift, and isn't required to make that gift, there's no need for a contract, and the other party doesn't have to accept the gift. If the gift is accepted the IRS will want to  know what the gift was and when it was given. Since the date given will determine if the gift was a share of a lottery ticket or a share of a large sum of money, the date is the important point. When the IRS decides the value of the gift they'll be looking at when the gift was made, and an intent to gift a share in the ticket before it became a winner is what the document is intended to establish. Any statement that  can be shown to pre-exist the date of the drawing shoud be sufficient to establish that intent.

                        I didn't see any condition imposed on the gift, but there's nothing wrong with imposing conditions. If it's agift the gifter is not obligated to make it, and may dictate the conditions under which it will be offered. Those conditions may change the value of the gift, but I don't see that as an issue in this case.

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                          Posted: August 20, 2007, 11:53 am - IP Logged

                          It sounds as though my safest bet for splitting any win with my SO would be to just wait until I win and then marry him!  Then I could gift as much to him as I wanted under the spousal gift provisions but limit it to no more than I wanted with a properly drawn prenuptial agreement.  LOL!

                          Seriously, though, I appreciate your pointing this out to me.  I remember now that I'd read ages ago about the "no conditions" on a gift, but had forgotten that.  I did, however, drop the conditions regarding the tax situation anyway after my original posting, since I discovered that in my state there can be only one winner, which may be an entity such as a trust.  And I assumed the taxation would be covered under trust laws in the state so that part best be left out of the document.

                          But now I have a new problem.  I had planned to also gift a partial interest in the tickets to my siblings and other relatives.  At my age with a sizable win, that would only make sense.  Unfortunately, most of them live in three different states all of which are half way across the country.  I imagine the law requires that each be represented by an attorney in his/her own state for any trust in which they have partial ownership.  I really don't see any way around that one, as I don't know where I'd find an attorney licensed in four different states that far apart.  But since there can only be one winner, it would have to be just one trust.  With a jackpot like MM this week, the difference between gifting before the draw and gifting after would be millions of dollars in gift and generation-skipping taxes.  Boo to Washington State lottery for not permitting the writing of separate checks to owners of a group-owned lottery "pool."  Now it is back to the drawing board for determining the best way to go should I win.

                          Getting married obviously solves the gift tax issue, and if you don't mind jumping through the hoop, is an enormous loophole. You could probably make gifts to 2 or 3 spouses in the next year if you were ambitious.

                          Taxes are definitely not a condition that you can impose. Who pays the taxes is determined by law, so your statement about the taxes was simply a clarification that was unnecessary. If the gift was a share in the ticket then the owner of that share will pay taxes on any future value of that share.

                          As far as mailing yourself a letter, that may or may not work. Envelopes can be steamed open, so how can you prove that what comes out of the envelope at a later date went in today? At the very least I'd send it certified mail and put the address and certification label on the back. That would make opeing and resealing the envelope very difficult, and a court would be more likely to accept that the contents had been mailed on the date of the postmark.