As discussed in the last blog, the Texas Attorney General and Texas Bar brought living trust scams to our attention. Living trust scam artists purporting to sell living trust kits or documents prey upon elderly consumers’ fears. Unfortunately, these kits are often worthless and can cost thousands of dollars. Other living trust scam businesses sell living trust products in an effort to obtain a consumer’s private financial information. Deceptive living trust salespeople may visit you at home or call you by telephone in an effort to persuade you into buying a worthless living trust kit or do it yourself form. The Attorney General of Texas recommends you contact your local law enforcement if you suspect you are the victim or intended victim of a living trust scam.
Con artists selling living trust kits or forms may scare you into believing that using wills instead of living trusts will save you years in unnecessary probate court procedures or thousands of dollars in court costs. You should realize that will contests or claims challenging the validity or authenticity of a probated will are very unlikely. Only a probate law attorney can decide if a living trust is suitable for your estate planning needs, and only a licensed attorney should help you draft this document tailored to your individual needs. A salesperson selling fraudulent living trust services may face criminal or civil sanctions by practicing law without a professional license.