There for you when you need it most

Wilkin Chapman’s Lucy Butterfint looks at how an elderly couple were offered £2,000 to protect their future – but they did not need to spend a penny!

Marketing flyers advertising the work of unregulated Trust and Will advisers should be approached with caution.

Targeting elderly people, often in affluent rural areas, there are a growing number of such ‘professionals’ who have been present at recent regional events, as well as organising their own sales and marketing activities.

However, people should be very careful before signing up. An incident at a rural event in the county this summer was set to cost a couple hundreds of pounds, which they did not need to pay.

The couple had been approached about putting their house into trust at the cost of £2,000. They at least had the sense to come and see us before signing anything.

When questioned, it emerged the couple had been asked nothing about their incomes or other assets. The company was just interested in selling a product, not advising them about what was best for them.

It turns out they would have sufficient income to pay for any care fees and their other assets amounted to £700k (excluding the property) so they would still have been paying privately for any care even if they had put the property into a Trust. Also, the fact that they were 80-years-old would have meant a strong likelihood of it being viewed as a deliberate deprivation of capital.

In short, they did not need the Trust at all and their visit to me saved them almost all of the money.

Unregulated advisers and companies will cold call or hold events, targeting the more affluent areas or towns popular with older people. They will advise people to set up trusts and often charge between £3-5,000.

Unfortunately, anyone can call themselves a legal adviser and write a Will or sell a Trust package, claiming they have expertise with no legal qualifications at all.

If you are planning for later life it is important you contact an experienced solicitor, for regulated and protected legal advice. At Wilkin Chapman, we will work with you to ensure your assets are properly and safely protected.

For more information on how you can best plan for your retirement, please contact Lucy Butterfint via the form.

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