If you're creating an estate plan in Illinois, being taken advantage of is probably the last thing on your mind. Unfortunately, it does happen and if you aren't aware of common tricks and scams you could fall victim (and lose quite a bit of money in the process). Forbes offers the following information on a few of the more recent scams and how you can steer clear of them.
Some scams can occur to the family of the deceased after the estate plan has already been put into place. In one instance, a second attorney demanded a slew of extra fees from family after the estate plan had already been validated by the first (and far more scrupulous) attorney. This underscores the importance of securing reliable legal help from a skilled and trusted attorney. If fees seem outlandish, get a second opinion before moving forward.
While a living trust can be a valuable estate planning tool, some people use them the bilk unaware seniors out of money. These are often referred to living trust kits and are suggested to people that don't have an estate plan in place and are concerned about the future of their assets after they're gone. If a plan is touted as universal or one-size-fits-all, it's an indication that your best interests are not being kept in mind.
Pressure to Sign Power of Attorney
Of course, some tricks are far simpler than others. It's a sad fact that elderly people with no immediate family are targets of nefarious people who will attempt to get them to sign a power of attorney to put power into the third party's hands. In this case, the best defense is to implement an estate plan as soon as possible (well before you're mentally or physically incapacitated by old age). That way your estate will be well-protected, and you'll be less likely to succumb to pressure.