Take Care When Planning For Later Life

17th Oct 2018

The BBC has recently reported on the collapse of the Ipswich based inheritance planning firm, Universal Wealth Management.

The company ran seminars called keep it in the family, in which they promised to protect people’s assets from inheritance tax – they also promised to help people avoid care home fees.

After attending a seminar, people would typically put their home into a trust run by the company, which meant they no longer officially owned it. The idea was that local authorities would then disregard the property in the event someone needed long-term care.

The national body that deals with fraud on behalf of victims, Action Fraud, said at least 140 clients of Universal Wealth had contacted it about missing money – some of whom may have lost significant sums.

Many people have made Wills and set up Trusts in recent years, with the intention of protecting their assets for their family. If a Trust is set up correctly, it can prove to be a flexible legal tool to help meet a family’s long-term needs.

Many people have been poorly advised however, as they have been told that the Trust will protect all, or a significant proportion of their assets, from the payment of care fees and Inheritance Tax.

When customers have sought advice from Universal Wealth it appears that they have paid more than £4,000 to have Wills prepared and to create some form of a Trust.

Companies that offer Will Writing services, together with Estate and Inheritance Tax Planning, can operate ‘unregulated’, which means that they are not necessarily policed by an independent body to whom they are accountable. This means that there may be no avenues to seek redress when customers have a grievance or are unsatisfied with the advice they have received, or when something goes wrong.

If you or a family member are concerned because you have used a company such as Universal Wealth Preservation, to make Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney or to create a Trust, it would be advisable for you to seek independent legal advice at the earliest opportunity.

Rogers & Norton have a specialist team who have a wide knowledge and experience in dealing with planning for your later life. They can advise you on the potential risks that you may have to consider, together with the preparation of the necessary documentation that will give effect to your wishes, if appropriate.

You can contact us at wills@rogers-norton.co.uk or on 01603 675655 if you wish to discuss the matter further.