Avoid Phony Experts

When confronted with serious estate planning and long-term care issues, choosing the right advisor is extremely important. Whether you are looking for an advisor for yourself or your family, or you are referring an advisor to a friend, client or patient, choosing an incompetent, unqualified, or even dishonest advisor can have devastating effects. We’ve compiled some important facts and guidelines from reputable organizations and governmental agencies that you’ll want to consider when choosing a legal advisor:

“Talk with an attorney who knows Medicaid rules before creating any trust, or giving away any property. The laws are complicated and change frequently.”
AARP article, Living Trust: Deciding How To Manage Your Property

“The Medi-Cal laws and regulations are complicated and change so often that a special area of the law has developed, often referred to as elder law. It is imperative that families facing the possibility of a nursing home stay for one of their members see an attorney who practices in this area. There is too much to lose by following inaccurate or out-of-date information.”
California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, website

“If you are interested in setting up a living trust or in determining whether a trust is the best option for you, based upon your individual situation, the Better Business Bureau recommends that you seek legal counsel.”
Better Business Bureau article on Living Trusts

“Agents and insurers are requested to conduct a focused identification and review of each marketing program in which they are involved . . . Particular attention should be given to any program for annuity sales in which the insurer or agent states or infers that they possess particular expertise in the areas of law, finance or financial planning. Offending programs should be corrected immediately, and remedial action should be taken.”
Former California Department of Insurance Commissioner Harry W. Low, in a December 12, 2001 notice to all insurance agents and insurers in California, informing them to stop posing as legal experts for the purpose of selling living trusts and annuities

“Too often I am afraid they are camouflaged insurance salesmen. They wind up selling you a product in too many instances that you do not need.”
-This is a statement to CBS 2 Special Assignment reporter Randy Paige, by California State Attorney General Bill Lockyer, about phony estate planning and Medi-Cal planning experts. Consumer Alert: Selling Seniors, CBS New, February 19, 2004

“Some financial planners and insurance salespeople use fear tactics to sell products to seniors that will not protect them during a lengthy nursing home stay, yet these salespeople claim they will. These products are tempting to sell because the salespeople make a huge profit off them. Many of these con artists run scams in seminars, scaring seniors into believing that they will lose everything if they do not sign up for their services. The problem is, these scam artists do not have the expertise to help the seniors, and they charge exorbitant fees for doing absolutely nothing.”
Sacramento Business Journal, Beware of Profiteers from Confusion Over Medi-Cal Laws by Robert Scrivano, October 10, 1997

Dont be taken in by phony experts and salespeople who are only trying to make money off of your situation. Contact us today at (562) 594-4200 for a FREE 30-minute consultation and let us evaluate your specific situation.