By Kendall County Public Guardian and elder law attorney Rick Law, founder and managing partner at the multi-generational law firm of Law Elder Law in West suburban Aurora, IL. Home of the Estate Planning Center at Law Elder Law.
Vulnerable seniors are very susceptible to the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Seniors are trusting and want to believe people.
Take, for example, a man who is supposedly a sophisticated developer/investor who takes an 85-year-old man and his wife to a fancy dinner. The couple trusts him because he is a member of their church and tells them that, like the 85-year-old man, he is a veteran. The developer drives them around a big apartment complex and points out where he provides a free apartment for one of the church’s ministers. He tells them that they will get a better-than-market return if they invest with him.
Oh, and by the way, he suggests that they get a reverse mortgage on their house because that’s free money and he will help them invest that money to get a big “above market rate” return.
The couple lost $220,000 and the promissory notes were nonrecourse notes signed by the developer on behalf of illusory entities that he created.
Not surprisingly, the provider of the investment product, the promissory note, is a non-registered entity. This is an example of consumer fraud. One of many ways seniors may be financially preyed upon.
But it doesn’t end there…
A local priest was going through the neighborhood surrounding his parish and offering Holy Communion to the homebound members of his church.
On the surface, this seems like a normal activity that one might expect a priest to do for his congregation. However, this priest had a lawyer accompanying him. The pair would come into the homes of the sick or the old or those that just couldn’t make it into the church for whatever reason, and the priest would perform a mass and offer them Holy Communion right in their living room.
After the priest was done, the lawyer would then offer his estate-planning services to the homeowner. The homeowners, people too old and frail or too sick to attend church, trusted the lawyer, because he was accompanied by their priest.
It turned out that the beneficiary of the estate-planning documents was none other than the priest. The priest owned properties in Florida and was hiding money in multiple locations (so much for his vow of poverty.) And, naturally, the lawyer was receiving healthy kickbacks from the priest for his part of the exploitation.
If you’re ready to start getting your estate in order and secure your assets for the “worst-case” scenario, please give our office a call at 800-310-3100. Your first consultation is absolutely free. We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family. Call now.
Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.
Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future. Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care. Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!