Unscrupulous companies employ salespeople to scam the elderly into paying large sums for worthless estate planning documents that are not created by attorneys.
As a recent article in My San Antonio "'Trust mill' scam hits elderly hard" illustrates, this is an important thing of which elderly people need to be aware. A reader wrote in to ask questions about an estate plan his parents had purchased from what they thought was an attorney in Dallas.
When the man's father passed away, his mother could not find the original documents, but was able to receive copies of a will, revocable trust and general durable power of attorney from the party that sold them to the couple.
The reader wanted to know if the copies could be used in place of the originals.
What happened next is all too common.
The columnist consulted with the state bar and learned quickly that there was no Dallas attorney. The person who sold the couple the documents had never been an attorney. It was actually a salesperson hired by a company to sell elderly people so-called estate plans.
Companies known as "Trust Mills" sell people form estate documents, which leave the victims thinking that they have good estate plans.
They do not.
They have one-size fits all documents that are often worth less than the paper they are printed on.
If you want to get an estate plan, do not rely on someone who shows up at your door or who offers you a free lunch to sit through a seminar. Make sure that you are dealing with an actual estate planning attorney.
Reference: My San Antonio (Dec. 15, 2016) "'Trust mill' scam hits elderly hard."
If you would like to discuss setting up your Estate Plan, please contact an experienced attorney at Simmons & Schiavo, LLP. Please call (781) 397-1700 or visit our contact us webpage.