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The importance of competent advice when creating a living trust

On Behalf of | Jan 21, 2022 | Estate Planning |

In California, people generally understand the importance of estate planning but might not be sure how to go about it. This is especially worrisome for aspects of the process that might leave them vulnerable. One example is a living trust. Under a living trust, the person remains in control of what they own. After they die, it is distributed as that individual wanted based on their estate plan. A common concern with a living trust, however, is the possibility that people might be taken advantage of. There are certain ways to be protected and it is important to know them before making a decision that could cause major problems in the aftermath.

Unscrupulous individuals could take advantage of people seeking a living trust

While there are many living trust advisers and legal professionals who have the best interests of the client in mind, others are not so aboveboard. Recognizing when there might be something amiss is imperative. Often referred to as “living trust mills,” those who run these operations could give unwarranted advice, fail to properly execute documents or commit outright theft. Some use a veneer of a living trust advisory to get a person’s personal information and use it for illicit means. This is a scam that should be avoided.

There may be advertisements on television or the web telling people they can benefit from advice and guidance. Many times, victims are elderly people who do not have the ability to differentiate between scammers and those who are accredited and really want to help them achieve their goals through a living trust. Key ways to avoid being victimized is to get proper identification from the supposed expert. If they are unable to unwilling to provide that, it is a red flag. In some cases, a living trust is not even appropriate given the situation. Being sold a product in an aggressive manner is a telltale sign that it might not be a wise step.

Professional, accredited guidance is fundamental with a living trust

To avoid these problems, it is important to discuss the future and an estate plan with experienced, caring professionals. This can help with determining whether a trust is really the preferable option and if there are better alternatives. Trusts have great benefits including avoiding probate, financial benefit, privacy and addressing the potential for a person being incapacitated and making their own decisions. To be protected, discussing the future with those who are reputable is essential from the start.