Businessman Giving out Card

How do you protect yourself? Be on guard and on the lookout. Don’t be a victim. Here are just a few warning signs and common tactics used by trust and annuity peddlers.

Not everyone understands estate planning clearly, and unfortunately there are some bad apples out there that will try to take advantage of this situation. Knowing that people want to learn about estate planning and what they can do to protect their assets, there are some businesses that will claim to offer free estate planning information. However, the real purpose is not to give out free information.

The real purpose is to get people face to face with salesmen who will convince the victim to purchase an estate plan from the business.

As the Times Herald points out in Trust mill peddlers are alive and well, these offers are nothing more than a way to get you to buy an over-priced standard trust form.

The whole process starts off innocent enough. The businesses often start out by sending out a mailer asking if you are interested in learning about estate planning. If you are, then the mailer instructs you to fill out a provided response card and they will send you a free book.

When the business receives the card, they call you and offer to have the book personally delivered to your home by a representative or they invite you to a free seminar where you can learn about estate planning.

The original article includes a helpful list of warning signs that you might be dealing with a trust mill peddler.

The list includes:

  • Informational meetings that include a free meal.
  • Mailing cards to your home offering free information.
  • Sending non-attorneys to your home to talk about estate planning.
  • Businesses that try to sell you an estate plan and also offer other services, such as insurance, mortgages and tax help.

If you want to get an estate plan done right, you need to see an experienced estate planning attorney. Do not be fooled by a trust mill peddler!

Reference: Times Herald (November 22, 2014) Trust mill peddlers are alive and well

Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.