Frequently Asked Questions > Living Trusts > I've been approached by someone selling living trusts. How can I be sure it works?

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Living trust scams are widespread.  The scams often operate at two levels -- (1) the seller charges the consumer for the plan, which may be packaged well (leather-bound folder, lots of related forms, etc.) but often is inadequate, inappropriate and overpriced; and (2) the seller uses the plan to learn about the consumer's finances, leading to the sale of inappropriate investments or outright theft of assets.  The Texas Young Lawyers Association has a brochure and a video for consumers about these scams.  Don't buy a living trust from a non-lawyer.  Lawyers must be licensed and are accountable to their clients and to the public for misconduct.  Click here to see if someone is a licensed attorney and if that attorney has been disciplined for misconduct by the State Bar of Texas.  Often the salesman states that, while he or she is not a lawyer, a lawyer will review the plan.  If this happens, insist on dealing directly with the lawyer, not the unlicensed salesman.  Even if the salesman is not a crook, it is likely that the cost of the living trust will exceed the cost of an appropriate, customized, lawyer-prepared estate plan.  Don't let your reluctance to deal with lawyers cause you to waste your money.

Last updated on January 6, 2011 by Glenn Karisch