A very simple answer to your question is that there are a variety of different ways to claim the money without your individual name attached to it. I respectfully disagree with the contributor that stated that the California state lottery would require disclosure of your name in order to claim your winnings. You need an experienced California estate planning attorney to help you should you have the good fortune to have this problem.
I am not sure that it is POSSIBLE to do what you are suggesting. Most state lotteries have rules requiring you to personally accept your award. They want to use this information to help publicize the lottery and aid in future sales. If everyone could claim things anonymously, people would assume that they are being cheated.
If this CAN be done, a high end estate planning lawyer or firm should be able to help you set something up.
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The answer is "yes", you can set up a confidential trust which will protect your identity. You can do so either by creating a business entity, owned by a business trust, for which a trust company is the named officer and trustee. You will remain anonymous as the owner. However, there may be gift tax implications for a set-up like this, and some research may need to be done since this is not a common scenario.
You can also set up an irrevocable trust, though there are tax implications; and once created you would have no further control over the funds. You could still receive income from the trust, but you would not be able to change the trust once created.
However, in all cases you and/or your beneficiaries will be taxed at a compressed on the income from a trust. (unless the beneficiary is a qualified charity)
Matthew Johnson phone# 206.747.0313 is licensed in the State of Washington and performs bankruptcy, short sale negotiations, and estate planning in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, King and Pierce counties. The response does not constitute specific legal advice, which would require a full inquiry by the attorney into the complete background of the facts and circumstances surrounding this matter; rather, it is intended to be general legal information based on the limited information provided by the inquirer; it This response also does not constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship, which can only be established after a conflict of interest evaluation is completed, your case is accepted, and a fee agreement is signed. Johnson Legal Group, PLLC
You cannot do this on your own and you need a face to face meeting with an estates attorney. First, you have to pay income on this money and under assignment of income tax rules you cannot assign it to others. This raises a limitation on any of the methods discussed or contemplated. There are various trusts as alluded to all with postives and negatives. With the money at issue it is utter foolishness to not get with a good estate planning attorney to discuss all the alternatives as well as federal and state income and estate implications.
Hope this helps.
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LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is email@example.com , his website is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is <http://frommtaxes.wordpress.com/> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.