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How can I avoid estate planning scams?

An estate plan is crucial to protect both your assets and your family after you're gone. While it's crucial that people in Illinois have a solid estate plan in place, it's also important that you know what to look for when it comes to common scams. Forbes offers the following information, which will help you remain vigilant.

Waiting too long to make a plan is detrimental for a few reasons. Firstly, there's no telling what the future holds and without a plan in place, major decisions about your estate will be left up to the court. Secondly, many scam artists prey on elderly people with no estate plan in place. For those experiencing symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer's, scammers will attempt to garner authority over one's finances, which can lead to devastating results.

Elderly people without estate plans also fall victim to trust mills. While trusts are an essential part of many estate plans, they are rarely one-size-fits-all. Unfortunately, that's exactly what operators of trust mills claim, and they tend to target those who may feel rushed to implement a plan. In this case, creation of a trust is often accompanied by a fee, which can be exorbitant in some cases.

While an attorney's assistance is recommended when creating wills and trusts, it's equally important to ensure that an attorney has your best interests in mind. Some attorneys will undermine the ability of others and offer assistance for an exorbitant fee. A good attorney will be upfront about fees and will offer help based on your specific needs. He or she will not attempt to instill fear in you in order to goad you into a decision.

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