Wills and living trusts might seem like sound options to address issues concerning an individual’s estate. However, some might exploit these needs and sell illegitimate estate planning products or services. One of the most common schemes scammers use is selling fraudulent living trusts.
Some might pose as trust experts and approach potential clients to offer living trust kits, promoting them as a one-size-fits-all estate planning solution. However, falling for this scheme could lead to costly repercussions because they have poorly drafted agreements and inappropriate features. These sales representatives could insist on closing the deal instead of considering whether a living trust fits their potential client’s requirements.
Fortunately, these schemes could be easy to spot. If they exhibit the following warning signs, it might be a fraudulent living trust:
- They use pressure tactics to make a sale.
- The sales representative avoids questions about fees and other accompanying costs.
- They use vague language when discussing conditions within the trust agreement.
- They offer additional services or products, such as asset liquidation or conversion.
These signs are red flags when speaking to a representative about living trusts. It might be best to avoid signing documents or agreeing to purchases when in doubt.
Prevent falling victim to fraudulent living trusts
Individuals could avoid falling prey to fraudulent living trusts by saying no to upfront offers. Instead, they can consult reliable family, friends and certified professionals about them first. They could also check local registries to confirm if the business or firm is legitimate.
However, it is best to avoid estate planning services from these sources. Speak only to licensed estate planning attorneys or advisers about living trusts. Aside from preventing fraud, doing so could help select better options, yielding the most benefits based on the estate’s size and details.