Wills, property trusts and similar products

We have received complaints about some businesses selling wills and associated legal products.

One of these products is often referred to as a 'property trust' and is often sold on the basis that should you need to go into Local Authority care, it will reduce the amount the Council can recover from the sale of your home. However, this is not necessarily the case.

There have also been complaints about 'lasting powers of attorney' which haven't been properly registered, and the sale of 'pre-paid funeral plans' which haven't materialised amongst other things.

The business of conducting legal services of this kind is unregulated, which is not widely known. Some of those who offer such services have no formal qualifications nor indemnity insurance. However, the consequences of poor advice or a badly-drafted document such as a will or property trust can be very serious in terms of financial loss. This is in addition to the psychological impact of being defrauded.

The rules for managing assets are complicated and any attempt to shield wealth or transfer ownership of assets is likely to be subject to scrutiny and may be invalid. Anyone considering different aspects of planning for care and inheritance are strongly advised to seek legal advice from properly qualified practitioners.

Public Protection Unit - Trading Standards

Eco Depot, Hazel Court, York, YO10 3DS

Telephone: 08082 231133