Estate planning scams can have devastating consequences, potentially leading individuals to lose their assets, inheritance, or financial security. It’s crucial to be aware of these common estate planning scams to protect yourself and your loved ones
Impersonation of Attorneys or Financial Advisors
Fraudsters may impersonate lawyers, financial advisors, or estate planning professionals, offering to create or update estate planning documents on your behalf. To avoid this scam, you need to be cautious of unsolicited offers for estate planning services, especially if they pressure you into making quick decisions or request payment upfront. Verify the credentials and reputation of any professional before hiring them.
Some scammers may promote generic, do-it-yourself estate planning kits or templates online, claiming they are suitable for everyone’s needs. Implementing effective estate planning requires personalized solutions tailored to your unique circumstances. Beware of anyone promoting one-size-fits-all approaches that may not meet your specific goals.
Pressure to Sign Documents Quickly
Scammers may rush you into signing estate planning documents, such as wills or trusts, without giving you adequate time to review and understand their content. When you work with a legitimate professional, they will encourage you to take your time in reviewing and understanding all documents before signing. Avoid anyone who pressures you to make quick decisions.
Family or Friend Impersonation
A fraudster may impersonate distant family members or close friends, claiming they need immediate access to your financial information or assets for supposed emergencies or unexpected expenses. In order to avoid this, verify the identity of the person making the request, especially if it seems unusual or inconsistent with their typical behavior. Be cautious about sharing sensitive financial details without proper verification.
Phishing scammers may send fake emails or create fraudulent websites that appear to be from legitimate estate planning professionals, aiming to steal your personal information. You should exercise caution when clicking on links or providing personal information online. Always verify the authenticity of the sender or website before sharing sensitive data.
Property Transfer Scams
Fraudsters may persuade you to transfer your assets or property into their name or a trust they control, often promising significant tax benefits or other advantages. It is best to seek advice from independent legal and financial professionals before transferring assets. Be skeptical of anyone promising unusually high returns or tax benefits without clear documentation and legal advice.
To protect yourself from estate planning scams, always exercise due diligence, consult with reputable estate planning professionals, and never rush into decisions or share personal information without verification. If you suspect you have encountered a scam, report it to local law enforcement and relevant authorities to help prevent others from falling victim. Get in touch today for more information regarding estate planning scams.