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What are some common estate planning scams?

On Behalf of | Oct 16, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Estate planning is an important aspect of securing one’s financial legacy, but unfortunately, it has become a breeding ground for scams. In this complex world, understanding common types of scams is key to safeguarding your assets.

Being able to confidently navigate estate planning requires you to know when a deal is too good to be true.

Fraudulent inheritance schemes

Fake unsolicited communication, usually by email, may talk about unexpected inheritance from a distant relative. Scammers manipulate emotions, urging victims to provide personal information or pay fees.

This can especially harm Americans over the age of 50, with that age group losing $3 billion to online scams and crimes in 2021 alone. Always exercise caution and independently verify such claims to avoid falling prey to these elaborate hoaxes.

Bogus living trust seminars

Living trust seminars often promise attendees a comprehensive understanding of estate planning strategies. However, these events can be a front for individuals seeking to exploit attendees. Beware of high-pressure sales tactics and requests for immediate payment to set up a living trust.

Identity theft through will preparation services

Online will preparation services may seem helpful, but some are merely designed to harvest personal information. Scammers operating these platforms may sell your sensitive data to third parties or use it for identity theft. Prioritize working with professionals or services with a proven track record to minimize the risk of compromising your personal information.

Fake charitable bequests

Another scam involves fake charitable causes, where scammers impersonate real charities to ask for bequests in wills. Ensure you research and verify any charitable organization before including it in your estate plan. Real charities will provide detailed information about their mission, finances and how they use those donations.

Since estate planning is a huge component of financial well-being, it is important to navigate this terrain with caution. Remember, in the realm of estate planning, knowledge is the most powerful tool you have.