Estate Planning Scams
Sadly, individuals and businesses take advantage of Arizona residents via estate planning.
June 4, 2013 - We've received numerous calls from recent clients the past two weeks regarding "Deed Processing Notice" and "Property Transfer Service" letters received from companies in Delaware and Washington DC asking for $85.00. This is a scam (read one of several web articles here). In short, these companies watch for recently recorded deeds on Arizona county recorder websites and send these letters.
After preparing and recording your new deed, the transfer of your home into your living trust was completed by us and we mailed you the original deed. Nothing further is required for the transfer (aside from a quick call to your homeowner's insurance letting them know about the trust). If another copy is needed, a certified copy can be purchased from your county recorder office for approximately $10.00. Contact us with any questions or concerns: (480) 229-6220.
Annuities can be a useful planning tool when applied properly by licensed financial advisors but some types of annuities do not require a financial planning license - only a life insurance license. Certain types of annuities guarantee no loss of return but they typically commit your money to long periods of time, have high surrender charge and generate large commissions for the agent selling the life insurance.
Below are two articles involving estate planning and these types of annuities:
Also be aware of "Veteran's Advisors" who scam elder veterans into to purchasing unnecessary Annuities that pay large commissions. Sometimes annuities can make sense, but they are never the first choice when planning for VA Benefits. These annuities can even ruin the applicant's eligibility for other more valuable benefits.
How to Protect Yourself
Check a business' standing with the BBB, state agencies and ask for references. If something is recommended to you that leaves you with doubts or a feeling of too-good-to-be-true, seek a second opinion.
Here is a link to the Arizona Attorney General website regarding living trust scams.
If you think you have been misinformed about living trusts, contact the Office of the Arizona Attorney General Fraud Line at (602) 542-5763.
Here is a link to the Arizona State Bar website with helpful tips.