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How to spot and avoid fraudulent estate planning tools

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2023 | Estate Administration |

As people age, they may begin thinking about what can happen to their assets after passing on, igniting their interest in different estate planning tools. Having an estate plan can have diverse benefits. However, others may take advantage of this curiosity and exploit it with inadequate products, such as fraudulent living trusts.

These schemes usually target seniors with impairments, making them vulnerable to scams. Knowing what these ploys look like is vital to avoid becoming victim to them. These fraudulent products often exhibit the following signs:

  • Sellers use seminars, at-home discussions and high-pressure sales tactics to position their offers as must-have estate planning tools.
  • Fraudsters often scare potential buyers with excessive estate taxes, sharing that their products can be absolute solutions to prevent these costs.
  • They sell estate planning products as kits, often with unsecured or invalid forms.
  • They promote other financial or estate planning products that can also be risky, such as annuities.

Aside from falling prey to these fraudulent options, some perpetrators can use these products as opportunities to collect sensitive information on the buyer. Once they have these details, there can be no limit to what they can do with the gathered personal information.

Keeping you and your estate safe from fraud

Falling for these schemes can lead to severe consequences, such as losses caused by inadequate paperwork. Before buying any estate planning products, it is best to take time and verify the seller’s legitimacy. It can also be helpful to consult a credible legal professional to confirm if the seller used misleading information, if there are any shady transactions or if their products are genuinely appropriate based on the circumstances. Learning about these schemes and avoiding them can help you preserve the value of your estate.