Living Trust Scams

If you are age 50 or older, you should take special care when buying living trusts. Your are group is often a special target of salespersons whose goal is to sell you something without carefully analyzing you needs.

It is easy enough to become a victim. Living trust sales are a growing area of consumer fraud. Con artists make millions of dollars every year selling unnecessary trusts. Each year thousands of consumers lose from $500 to $5,000 through the purchases of living trusts. Often families face potentially greater costs after the consumer’s death, resulting from problems associated with the trusts.

To protect yourself, follow these guidelines:

  1. Take time when making your decision. Do not fall victim to high-pressure, “act immediately” sales tactics.
  2. Seek the advice of someone trustworthy and knowledgeable. Contact your accountant, estate planning attorney, banker or financial advisor.
  3. If you conclude that a trust may be right for you, deal directly with a licensed Texas attorney who has substantial expertise in estate planning. If the attorney is board certified in estate planning and probate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, he or she is presumed to have this expertise (though an attorney does not need to have this designation to be qualified to do your estate planning work).