Why You Should Avoid Living Trust Mills
Many people who are considering estate planning have heard of living trusts. These documents allow you to make arrangements for your property if you are incapacitated or die. One of the clear benefits of them is that they allow your family to avoid probate, which can be costly and time-consuming. Due to their advantages, living trusts are becoming more and more popular. Unfortunately, many companies have cropped up over the past several years that claim to offer living trusts, but are actually scams designed to exploit the popularity of trusts and prey on senior citizens.
Known as “trust mills,” these companies offer living trusts to clients at prices far below those of most estate planning attorneys. Many do not even have attorneys on staff, or only have one or two so that they can claim to be a legitimate legal service. However, these mills do not create personalized and valid living trusts.
Instead, clients are given what amounts to a fill-in-the-blank form in which they designate their property. In most cases, the documents are not valid and this is often not discovered until after the person has passed away. At this point, it is too late and the deceased’s wishes are honored.
In addition to selling phony documents to their clients, trust mills will often use the personal information of their customers to try to sell them financial products, such as life insurance, annuities or reverse mortgages. In many cases, the commission off of these sales is the real end game; the so-called living trust is just a ruse to gain access to the clients’ information.
Living trusts are complex legal documents that should be drafted by an attorney. Be sure to work with a qualified and experienced Florida estate planning lawyer for the assistance you need during this important process.