More than 10 years ago, a $110 million lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court against an alleged trust mill. A trust mill, in that company in particular, are typically accused of duping senior citizens into purchasing annuities and using part or all of their retirement investments to do so. The individual selling these opportunities received substantial fees in commissions in the process.
A trust mill may also be referred to as a living trust mill and it is a situation in which agents try to sell individuals investment opportunities by explaining it as an estate planning tool. More often than not, these sales agents work for an insurance company and the sales agent’s job in these particular cases is to persuade clients to cash in mutual funds and CDs to purchase an annuity but the agents receive a commission for that annuity. The sales pitch typically follows a similar pattern.
Usually the agent starts off by telling the seniors that their current investments generate low interest rates or extremely high risk, giving them an incentive to cash in those investments and purchase a higher interest annuity or in a less risky annuity that the agents offer. One of the biggest problems with trust mills is that sometimes these sales agents position themselves as estate planning specialists even though they are insurance agents rather than estate planning attorneys. Seniors may not be informed about the serious financial consequences of transferring all of their investments over. If you want to discuss valuable living trusts and other estate planning opportunities with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer, contact a New Jersey estate planning law firm as soon as possible.
You may discover too late that someone you love has been a victim of a trust mill. Make sure to do your research to have utmost confidence in any professional you choose to work with.