The Palm Beacher, December 2, 1989 - 17 ____________________________________________________________________________________
|Lotto Law||Attorney Tim Morell offers excellent advice for Lotto players|
By joella Cain
Everyone's fantasy is to win the lottery. We all dream of becoming instant millionaires, purchasing yachts, mansions, and pos- sibly tooling around town in a Rolls Royce. However, this dream can become a reality and indeed a night- mare. For instance,the case of Mary Ellen Snipes and her sister Maxine Johnson who played the lottery to- gether and won mil- lions.
Simple enough. Wrong! She gave the money to her ex-husband,Lewis Snipes to purchase the tickets for her. When she won, he naturally wanted half, simply because he went to the store for her.
Well she didn't owe him anything by law and she was smart enough, which most of us aren't, to sign her name on the back of the ticket. But, she had to hire an attorney,Mr.Tim Mor-rell to represent her in the lawsuit instigated by Lewis Snipes. It should be an interesting out-come and the average public playing the lottery aren't aware of some do's and don'ts when they are plunking down that buck a play.
Attorney Morrell of- fers some excellent advise for lotto players. First, be sure to sign your name im- mediately to the back of the ticket. If you don't and have a winner but happen Tax. A person receiving a
mis-place the ticket,any- one can claim your win-
Many people play the lottery with a group. This can be touchy and to be entirely safe, Mr. Morrell suggests forming a cor- poration with a written contract on how the oney will be distributed. The next best precaution is a written agreement with all parties playing as a group. But ideally they should hire an attorney and work out the details, legally.
If you happen to be lucky andthe"MoneyGods" are shinning down and you win...keep your mouth shut until you get a lawyer and a financial adviser. Who said "being rich was easy?
Tim Morrell advises all of us to get legal advice a especially a financial plan- ner. An attorney because you must have a will. A financial planner because "Uncle Sam" takes their share, up front. You need financial advice because hey know legal ways you'll be able to keep more of your winnings.
Another interesting fact that Mr. Morrell states is if you die, you're taxed on the full amount of your winnings. This means you must have insurance to co- ver this expenditure.
This brings another pertinent fact to light. Gift gift of money from a win- ner will probably have to
between 37 to 55% in tax.
Tim Morrel tells us that you can give up to $10,000, tax free. You could legally give a couple $20,000 tax free, ten to the wife and the other ten to the husband.
Another interesting law is it is illegal to lend money to play the lottery. You can't by law, buy a ticket with credit card money. It is also illegal for a retailer to sell tickets for distr- ibution across state lines.
Of course, the govern- ment must have their fin- gers in the pie and now there is talk of placing a sales tax on the purchase of Lotto tickets.
So if you have that "Midas Touch" and win millions, you'll be sur- rounded by attorneys, fi- nancial advisers, and in- surance brokers, just like the rich.
Tim Morrell is a West Palm Beach Attorney and has practiced trial, litiga- tion and computer law for the past six years. After this famous lottery case he'll be an aficionado in Lotto Law.
Tim Morell, Attorney At Law, P. O. Box 2811, Palm Beach, FL 33480 • Phone 561.586.1241
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