WARNING! Living Trust Scams Targeting our SeniorsWritten by Barbara Mascio
Don't loose Medicaid Benefits because of a Living Trust!
My grandmother recently responded to a post card advertising piece received in mail. The company that sent post card eluded that they were 'approved' by AARP and made claim "The Choice is Yours: Sacrifice Your Assets to State or Protect Your Loved Ones."
Grandma did not think to call me, or anyone else in family. She thought this post card was expecting her response, and so she called and set an appointment for company's representative to visit her at home.
This representative created 'common ground' almost immediately with my grandma. One quick look around her home and you see photographs and other evidence of a very family-oriented, religious woman. Grandma was immediately put at ease at friendly, self described 'Christian' who claimed to share same family values as grandma.
Once trust was created, he then began to educate my grandmother on 'horrors' of probate and the, as he put it, 'untrue legal advice attorneys provide while attempting to create more revenue for themselves.'
This company is selling Living Trusts to older unsuspecting elders, charging $800 to guarantee that their estate will not go through probate, guarantee that final wishes outlined in Will are carried out properly and claimed this Living Trust will save 'thousands of dollars'.
Although an attorney owns this company, local representatives are not attorneys. They are sales people, selling one product for a commission. They are not there to serve elder's best interests. A Living Trust is not a 'one-size-fits-all'. In fact, there are varieties of Trusts available with logical and useful applications, however, not every senior is in need of such a legal document.
When grandma decided to call me to ask my opinion, I did what most consumers would do. I checked Better Business Bureau and found no complaints. I then went to AARP site, which this firm claimed had endorsed their company.
Sure enough, this company is listed on AARP site for a fee. I found this company by going to Member Services and clicking on 'Financial Services' and then did a keyword search for company. Members Financial Services
I had to really dig into this site to find AARP disclaimer. Most consumers would not have thought to do this, in fact, at first glance; it appeared as though this company was 'endorsed' by AARP. I personally, found this to be a disappointment considering fact that AARP wants to be considered an 'authority' on elder care issues.
I found disclaimer in an article on Estate Planning/Articles It says, in middle of article, AARP does not sell or endorse any living trust products. AARP does not work cooperatively with any company that sells or promotes living trust documents. AARP does not give such companies names or addresses of its members.
Deciding on whether or not a Trust is in your best interest is best left to an elder-law attorney or an eldercare financial planner. A Senior Approved service, available in Ohio, that can help personalize Medicaid planning is Raymond James Financial Services
I have learned a few pointers:
Medicare and Medicaid planning varies state by state. In Ohio, Medicaid does NOT consider your home a 'Countable Resource', if you meet following rule:
The Ohio Medicaid rule is: "The home and contiguous land is exempt as long as it is occupied by Medicaid recipient or by
- the CS (community spouse)
The Truth About Stuffing Envelopes And Home Assembly ProgramsWritten by Dean Phillips
Two of oldest scams around appear to be as popular as ever. I'm referring to stuffing envelopes and home assembly programs. Let's talk about stuffing envelopes first.
Ads for envelope stuffing "opportunities" seem to be everywhere--from your mailbox to your newspaper to your e-mail box. Promoters usually advertise that, for a "small" fee, they will set you up to earn big money by stuffing envelopes at home. And they claim that they will pay you a dollar or more for each envelope stuffed, resulting in hundreds or thousands of dollars for you each week.
Now I want you to think about something very carefully. Why would any legitimate company, pay you a dollar or more for each envelope you stuff, when they can use high-tech mailing equipment that can stuff thousands of envelopes at a time for only pennies apiece?
The answer is, THEY DON'T PAY YOU! Here's how scam works: After you send in your money, you will receive a letter telling you to place same "envelope-stuffing ad that you originally responded to, in newspapers or magazines, or to send ad to friends and relatives. The only way you'll ever earn any money is if other people fall for scam like you did, respond to your ad and pay fee.
Home assembly scams work pretty much same way as envelope stuffing scams. This scam requires you to invest money in instructions and materials and many hours of your time to produce items such as baby booties, toy clowns, and plastic signs for a company that has promised to buy them.