Special Report

13 Things to Do If You Suddenly Become Filthy Rich

Becoming rich instantly, or in a very short period, is part of the great American dream. It happens each and every day to someone. What many people fail to consider ahead of time is that becoming wealthy also comes with great responsibility.

People can become wealthy in many ways. Some sell a business or an asset. Some people become wealthy in a very short period because of a smart or lucky investment. Some of the instantly wealthy win the lottery, win a legal judgment or receive a settlement. Others inherit more money than they expected, and some inherit money that they never knew was coming to them. And some people with stock options become instantly wealthy on paper if they have stock options when their employer has an initial public offering or gets acquired.

24/7 Wall St. has created a list of 12 things not to do if you win the lottery, but we wanted to create a blueprint for those lucky few who become wealthy overnight or in a very short time.

Again, becoming wealthy comes with responsibility. Suddenly having millions of dollars puts you in the so-called one-percenter club. Being responsible about your newfound wealth may do more than just protect your new assets — it could even save your life, literally.

Winning the lottery is one of the more well-known ways of becoming instantly wealthy. Other means of instant wealth do not require things like remembering to sign a ticket or to report winning to the proper lottery authority.

CNBC released data in early 2015 showing that there were over 10 million households with investible assets over $1 million, with another 3.1 million households with $5 million or more. They also showed that there were nearly 500,000 new millionaires created in 2014 alone — well over 1,000 each and every day!

Becoming rich is one thing. Many people do it, but many also lose their wealth. Some people end up broke because of poor decisions, bad luck or recessions, or because someone else takes it from them. Consider one maxim here: you should only have to become rich once.

How would you like to become rich only to end up broke? Any takers? It can happen to anyone who avoids taking the proper steps to protect their wealth. Again, people who get rich should only have to get rich once.

Here are 13 things to do (and not do) if you become wealthy in an instant or in a very short time period.

1. Get Immediate Tax and Legal Representation, Ahead of Time If Possible

Having proper tax and legal professionals is a must for most of the newly wealthy (and those who are already wealthy as well). Knowing your tax burden for a sudden slew of money is of the utmost importance. When possible, speak to tax and legal professionals in depth before you sign a deal or before you receive the cash. Doing so may possibly save you thousands, or even millions, of dollars.

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