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Beware of Concerns About Living Trusts

Dear Editor:

As a member of this community and as an attorney specializing in Elder Law, I am very concerned about the inappropriate marketing and sale to seniors of Living Trusts. Today I received a cleverly worded invitation to a "free dinner workshop."

Unfortunately, I am unable to attend because the invitation states in very fine print: "Agents/Brokers/Attorneys not permitted to attend as space is needed for seniors. All rights reserved." I suspect the reason they do not want qualified professionals to attend is that we might raise questions about the content of the workshop.

In 2001, Pennsylvania Attorney General Mike Fisher issued a Consumer Advisory titled, "Beware of Living Trust Scams." General Fisher advises:

"Unfortunately, when it comes to living trusts, unscrupulous con artists are ready to play on consumers' fears of the unknown. In some cases, consumers—mostly elderly—are solicited by phone or mail to attend seminars or to set up in-home appointments to discuss living trusts. Living trusts are then marketed through high-pressure sales pitches, which prey on the fear that assets will be tied up indefinitely or that estates are prone to heavy taxes and fees if a living trust is not in place. Con artists often rely on unfamiliar terms such as

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