Avoiding Living Trust Scams
According to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you or a trustee can transfer assets to a legal entity known as a “living trust.” Your trust document will include instructions by which the trustee will manage the assets in the trust. A living trust may be revocable or irrevocable. Living trusts are nothing new and have existed for hundreds of years.
Traditionally, living trusts have been tools for managing people’s assets. Today, many law firms and financial services firms advertise revocable living trusts to be used in place of the most common estate planning tools: wills. There have been many exaggerated stories of how expensive and time-consuming it can be to administer an estate with a will. These arguments are an attempt to convince people to invest in a living trust. The Pennsylvania attorney general has imposed fines and other sanctions on certain venders of living trusts for this type of unlawful advertising.
Living trusts have been strongly advertised but are not beneficial for everyone. There are some distinct disadvantages to a living trust. For example, living trusts do not provide beneficiaries with the same automatic legal right to the notices about a death that a will does. The trustees named in living trusts will also have no authority beyond assets placed in the trust, as compared to the personal representatives of estates who have ample legal authority to wrap up a decedent’s affairs.
Tips For Avoiding Scams
One of the main tactics used to convince people to purchase pricey and unnecessary living trust packages is a high-pressure sales technique. If you feel pressured by solicitations that you receive in the mail or face to face, you should be skeptical about the motives of the firm or company behind those solicitations. Keep in mind that your financial situation and estate planning needs are personal. You should take all the time you need to consider your unique situation and priorities. Here at Temple & Frayer, we know that only a properly trained and experienced attorney can provide you with the in-depth, personalized legal counsel that you need during the estate planning process.
In order to avoid a living trust scam, you should research what estate planning tools are right for you, and never sign or agree to anything that you do not fully understand. Before you agree to let someone prepare a living trust for you, make sure you research and verify their qualifications and legal experience. You should always be wary of cookie-cutter trusts or living trusts that are pre-drafted. The right attorney for you is the one who will customize your living will to meet your needs. If you don’t understand something, always ask questions and do not agree to anything if the answers you receive are vague or confusing. These are all common tactics used to convince innocent individuals and families of spending their money on living trusts that won’t necessarily meet all of their needs.
Get Answers And Direction For Your Living Trust
If you have any questions about whether or not you need a living trust as part of your estate planning process, please call a Pittsburgh estate planning attorney at Temple & Frayer for a consultation.