The dangers of investing money in the unregulated inheritance planning industry have been laid bare following an investigation by the BBC’s Money Box programme into an Ipswich firm that claimed to protect assets against charges for care.
Clients of the company mentioned in the report revealed to the BBC Radio Four programme that they had been told they could avoid care home fees by transferring their assets into a trust. Their estate, after death, would then be passed on to their family.
However, a number of those who paid a fee of around £3,000 are now concerned that they have lost control of their savings, claiming they have been unable to contact anyone from the company. One client told Money Box they tried to release funds from the trust to help their son buy a house but have been unable to do so and now fear for their savings.
Police told the programme that two people have been arrested on suspicion of fraud and subsequently bailed in connection with an investigation into the company.
Gotelee has been contacted by a number of people affected and is working towards a resolution.
In England, anyone with assets of more than £23,250 in savings and property is expected to pay for care in older age.
The issues highlighted in the programme raise huge concerns about the unregulated industry of inheritance planning. Anyone can set themselves up as an estate planner or will writer, but the lack of regulation can have alarming consequences when things don’t go as planned.
How can Gotelee help?
The way to protect your assets is to use a solicitor or an associated regulated professional – doing so provides you with the reassurance of not only experienced and qualified lawyers with knowledge of this complex area, but also the backing of indemnity insurance and a legal ombudsman, who will fight for your rights if something goes wrong, unlike the unregulated sector
Our expert lawyers can advise you on the implications for inheritance tax and liability for care costs and help you now and in the future.
We can also ensure the people you care most about are not forced to deal with unnecessary difficulties after your death by helping you write a will. A will is especially important if you own property or other valuable assets, if you cohabit with a partner and even more so if you have children.