If you have elderly parents in Florida, you might be involved in their estate planning process. One important facet of creating a solid estate plan is being aware of common scams and frauds, many of which unfortunately target seniors. To help you and your family remain protected, Forbes offers the following advice.
While it’s not a scam per se, waiting too long to create an estate plan can leave your family more vulnerable to fraud. This is because many scam artists look for seniors with memory issues or other health problems and they exploit this weakened state to their financial gain. If your parents haven’t started estate planning yet, encourage them to begin the process. You can even look for a trusted attorney to ensure they have the best legal help possible.
Trust mills are just one type of scam an elderly person may be subjected to. While trusts are an essential component of estate planning, a trust mill offers a one-size-fits-all living trust kit, usually for a hefty fee. Sellers will refer to a pure equity trust or a constitutional trust, which should be a red flag that you’re not getting what you’re paying for.
Even if you secure the services of a reliable attorney, you must remain vigilant. Less scrupulous attorneys will call into question the ability of others and offer to fix your estate for an exorbitant price, which usually entails a large upfront fee and subsequent hourly billing. This is often a concern of people with a large number of assets or property, which makes them a target for others looking to capitalize on their wealth. Once again, this illustrates the importance of securing a qualified attorney from the outset.