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Asked 3/1/2011

How does a "beginner" cash a multi-million dollar check?

I am currently broke, yet expecting a royalty check in the multi-millions. How do I cash a check this big and where can I keep it safe without putting $250,000 in many different accounts and banks? If I wanted to donate a million dollars to a charity how would that be possible without writing many different checks from different banks? I understand investment is the key, but how does one invest when the money is just received? It needs to be kept safe until all the details are worked out.

 
 
 
 
 
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Answer 1/4 - Submitted 3/1/2011

When depositing the check in the bank, you will probably just need to go in and talk with the VP or upper management. I'm not sure if you would actually have to go to several different banks or not; you could probably deposit the money there and have them divide it up with $250,000 in different branches of the same bank. Also, if you just don't like the idea of having your money all over the place, you could buy some valuables such as gold, diamonds, rare stamps, etc, and have that placed in safety deposit boxes within one bank.
Here is a Wiki-How article with more info on the subject. It's an article for Lotto winners, but it seems to apply to your situation as well - http://www.wikihow.com/Deal-With-Winning-the-Lotte ry
You'll definitely want a financial adviser to help you with investments until you learn the ropes yourself. This article (also on Lottery winners) has some good advice concerning how to choose one and a few things to watch out for: http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt /LearnToBudget/weston-so-you-won-the-lottery-now-w hat.aspx
I'm not sure what you would need to do about writing a million dollar check for charity, but while you're depositing the money in the bank, you should be able to ask the VP how to go about doing that.
Congrats on the money! I hope this helped answer your questions.

 
 

Answer 2/4 - Submitted 3/1/2011

Rather than stress, it's probably a good idea to start interviewing financial, investment and perhaps a legal professional who can help you with the details. As your first stop, meet with a couple large reputable accounting firms to find a CPA you're comfortable with, who has experience with large personal accounts. They can guide you about the check or transfer.

If you haven't already addressed it, the first and most important question may be how to manage the taxes. There are investments and other instruments which may save you money, versus just parking the money in an account.

Typically large money transfers will be to a financial institution, and while you may be concerned about the Federally insured deposit limit of $250,000, if you choose a large bank that's not currently facing financial issues, it should be safe until you've formed a financial plan.

Your legal and financial advisers can help you learn more about your choices, and how to keep your nest egg safe.

 
 

Answer 3/4 - Submitted 3/1/2011

I'm assuming you are in the U.S. since you are concerned about the $250,000 FDIC insurance limit. However, if you open an account at one of the larger national or large regional banks that has not had financial difficulties, you really don't need to worry about that. I work with the following banks at my regular job and have very large amounts in regular accounts or investment accounts with all of them at various times and have never had a problem. Key Bank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Union Bank (formerly Union Bank of California), JPMorgan Chase, Bank of New York Mellon.

I would also recommend working with an attorney or accountant/CPA that specialize in estate and tax planning, or a certified financial planner. Work only with someone that charges an hourly or straight fee for their advice and plan. I would avoid working with anyone that gets part or all of their compensation from sales commissions on financial products or investments such as stock/investment brokers or insurance salespeople. These people are salespeople and are their to sell you a product so they get paid. It may or may not be the best investment for your situation.

Congratulations on your upcoming good fortune.

 
 

Answer 4/4 - Submitted 3/2/2011

The first thing you really need to do is to start interviewing attorneys and certified public accountants. Most will give you an initial interview at no charge, just explain your situation. If they do want to charge you, just walk away; there are plenty of lawyers and CPA's out there who won't charge you for a first time chat. You need to write down questions to ask them (such as this one) on a piece of paper so you don't forget; they should be able to quell any fears and steer you in the right direction.

 
 
 
 
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