Information from the National Consumer Law Center underlines the importance of avoiding predatory living trust scammers. Unfortunately, businesses purporting living trust document preparation services often target senior citizens. They may overinflate the importance of living trusts, overemphasize the time and expenses associated with probate and offer senior citizens with limited resources a way to dispose of their assets through coercive sales tactics. Before you pay money to a company that promises you a written living trust plan for a fee, be sure to use caution and exercise your best judgment. If it is too good to be true, it probably is.
A living trust is a legal written document that allows you – the trustor or grantor – to place your assets in trust while you are still living. Although living trusts may be an effective way to avoid probate procedures, only a qualified estate planning attorney can help you decide if a living trust would benefit you more than a written will would benefit you.
Using emotional pleas and deceptive offers to transfer assets through living trusts, these predatory living trust companies promise documents and legal preparation services at low prices. They may even offer self-help kits that allow you to quickly prepare your own trust documents. The best way to avoid these deceptive services is to avoid companies that use names of illegitimate nonprofit organizations.
Often, living trust scammers operate through trust mills and sell their services using company names that may sound similar to a legitimate organization’s name. For instance, a predatory living trust company may use a name such as AARPP, which has no affiliation to the AARP. In fact, the AARP neither endorses nor encourages its members to use living trusts. Sometimes, these predatory living trust scammers can use their services as a deceptive way to collect your private information, including financial information.