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New Jersey residents should be wary of estate planning scams

While many people recognize the value of creating a comprehensive estate plan, they also want to save money while addressing that need. They sometimes look for savings in estate planning services, and they can become victims to a range of scams that prey on individuals in New Jersey who are bargain-shopping for legal services. These scams can take a number of forms, some of which are difficult to immediately identify.

One scam involves simply offering discount services for what ends up being an inferior product. These offers advertise a low-rate estate planning package, and clients will indeed walk away with a body of documents intended to guide the distribution of their estate. However, those documents may have been prepared using a template, and they are unlikely to cover all of one's needs. Estate planning is a very customized matter, and there is no value in a one-size-fits-all approach.

Another way that estate planning offers can be scams is far more direct. Unscrupulous individuals meet with clients to gather information, but then they use that information at a later time to steal those assets or engage in identity fraud. In some cases, victims will be completely unaware that their discount estate planning solution is the source of the theft. Even worse, they might not realize that the estate plan they were given is not sufficient to meet their needs.

The best way to avoid falling victim to estate planning scams is to work with a legal professional to create a customized estate planning package. For those in New Jersey who are concerned about the cost of those services, it is important to know that there are measures that can be taken to minimize expenses. It should also be noted that trying to cut corners during the creation of an estate plan can end up costing far more in eventual losses.

Source: sdnews.com, "ASK THE RETIREMENT CONCIERGE This estate planning move could be a disaster in disguise", Aug. 18, 2015

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