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9 signs of living trust fraud

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2023 | Estate Planning

Individuals could seek out estate planning tools as they grow their assets. Depending on the trust type, they could help ensure proper asset management and tax benefits. These tools could be helpful, especially for elders needing uncomplicated ways to control and secure their estate.

Unfortunately, these seniors could fall victim to living trust scams. Instead of securing an individual’s estate, these trust scams might have poorly drafted terms and conditions, causing problems and damages in the future.

These trusts often use specific strategies to lure individuals into purchasing immediately. Someone might be dealing with a fraudulent trust if they exhibit the following signs:

  • They overpromise using misleading statements, such as definite tax benefits and other advantages.
  • They guarantee public assistance benefits.
  • The state that the trust helps prevent contested wills. This is misleading since a trust is a different estate planning tool that could have equally complicated issues based on its details.
  • They falsely claim that the trust protects against creditors.
  • They ensure that trusts can lessen guardianship costs. It is a possibility but not a guarantee because guardianship costs could significantly depend on the circumstances.
  • They claim that hiring an attorney to oversee estate planning costs more. This is inaccurate because lawyer fees vary greatly and could fall under 3% based on their hourly rate.
  • They insist that probate is costly and lengthy. This is a misleading statement because probate’s duration and costs could vary based on the situation and the estate’s details.
  • They assert that living trusts is beneficial for everyone. This is false because some individuals might not gain anything from the trust. Sometimes, they could have losses due to funding and administering costs that might outweigh the benefits.
  • They claim that it is the only way to avoid probate. There are various methods to estate plan to avoid probate.

Usually, scammers use these strategies to close a purchase.

Being vigilant against fraudulent living trusts

Elders could be more prone to falling for these scams because of their interest in these estate planning tools. However, they could differentiate between fraudulent and legit trusts by taking time before purchasing. Doing so could allow them to consult professional attorneys and accountants specializing in estate planning. Family members could also stay on the lookout to protect seniors against scammers.