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Modern Estate Planning Blog

Elder Law & Special Needs Planning

New CA Law Forbids Insurance Agents From Giving Away Trusts To Gain Access To Financial Information Of Seniors

October 7, 2012

With senior scams reaching unnerving proportions in California, Governor Brown signed a key piece of legislation this week aimed at stopping insurance and financial agents from offering trusts as a means to gain access into senior’s homes and to their personal information.

Prior to the passing of the anti-trust mill bill (SB 1170), financial agents would often host public seminars or events and promise free trusts to attendees. Trusts were also promised to seniors by door-to-door salesman as a way to enter their homes and go deeper into their finances.

Seniors were then prompted to complete the trust document, which requires very detailed financial and banking information. Armed with this document, the agents would attempt to sell them additional financial products such as annuities and insurance policies, many which were unnecessary in the first place.

Worse, the trusts provided by the agents were boilerplate documents that could basically be downloaded from the internet. These generic trusts were not capable of providing seniors with the protection they were told to expect. In other words, California seniors were delivered a useless legal document and scammed out of thousands of dollars to buy additional financial products they did not need.

Thankfully our representatives have stepped up to protect our seniors and put laws in place to stop these awful scam tactics. I’ve included the full text of the bill below if you would like to read it in its entirety. While there’s a lot of wiggle room in this legislation, I’m hopeful it will deter some of the practices we’ve seen in recent days.

In the meantime, if you are approached by anyone other than an attorney offering you a trust, BEWARE that it may very likely be a scam. Alternatively, if you or a loved one believe you may have fallen victim to such a practice, please feel free to give our office a call and we will review your documents at no charge.

Have additional questions about senior scams or this new change to the law?  Please feel free to contact us here.

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Thanks for holding my hand. So glad you made things easier for me. I really don't know how I would have understood any of this without your knowledge.

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