Everyone wants to safeguard their property Recover stolen crypto and assets and there seems to be no limit to the number of seminars or salespeople available to help you do so. But how do you know the service or product is legitimate? What can you do to protect yourself from an estate scam? Common Types Of Estate Scams
Many estate scams target retirees and the elderly. They often involve the purchase of annuities or trusts. Many of these scams are the result of unsolicited sales calls and visits from door-to-door salesmen or they are follow-up from an “estate planning” seminar attended.
An annuity scam often requires you to sell your current investments and place them into an annuity fund. The problem with this is you’ll probably pay high taxes and fees on the money you transfer out and you’re almost certainly guaranteed to be paying hefty amounts to the “advisor” or salesman of the annuity.
Trust scams fall into two categories: Scam Trusts and Mill Trusts. Scam trusts involve transferring your assets into business trust entities controlled by you as a way to avoid paying taxes on the money. The promoter of the trust often makes his money by,
again, charging you a hefty fee for the “plan” and then leaves you high and dry to deal with the IRS when they discover your illegal trust and demand back taxes owed, plus interest, and assess serious penalties.Mill trusts are contracts that purport to save you from estate taxes and/or probate if you sign on the dotted line.
The contracts are not usually presented to you by a lawyer, but the salesperson may assure you it has been reviewed by an attorney and is legal. The problem with mill trusts isn’t necessarily that they are illegal. It may simply be a greater waste of money than anything else. Mill trusts often have a limited scope, focusing only on avoiding probate and neglecting other issues. The lack of access to a qualified attorney for document review means you might not be considering all aspects of your assets and property holdings. Worse still, a mill trust often typically does not get funded, which renders it useless.
Like any other type of scam, those relating to your estate or property will have similar warning signs. A salesman may approach you first, without seeking out the information yourself. The salesman will probably be able to offer you a “great deal” that “won’t last long” or there will be some kind of pressure tactic involved to get you to sign the contracts quickly without reviewing them with your attorney, accountant or financial advisor first. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
The old adage “The Devil is in the details” is good advice. Pay attention to the fine print, anything left unsaid, and questions unanswered or evaded. If you are at all unsure about the offer, ask if you can think about it or review it with a trusted legal advisor of your choice. If you’re told no or advised that the deal won’t last, then you are probably better off passing on the “great deal.”
If you are ever told that your attorney doesn’t need to look at the documents you are signing, or worse, that you don’t even need to tell your attorney about them, it is a safe bet that you’re involved in a scam.