Families have been left fearing for their homes and life savings following the collapse of inheritance planning firm Universal Wealth Preservation.
The Ipswich-based company ran seminars called ‘Keep it in the Family’ at locations up and down the country, including Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire and Cheshire.
At the seminars, people were invited to put their homes and savings into a trust. In practice, this meant that homeowners who entered into the scheme relinquished control over their homes and assets and named Universal Trustees Ltd or their directors as the trustees.
In May of this year, Universal Wealth Preservation went into liquidation, leaving the trusts set up by Universal Wealth Preservation exposed to significant risk. The trustees are no longer able to act to protect the trust assets leaving people confused about what steps they need to take to bring their homes and savings back under their control.
Jessica Hancock, our disputes solicitor at Beswicks Legal, said: “We are receiving more and more calls from people who are understandably extremely worried about whether they can recover their money and the titles to their properties. They are also desperately trying to locate the wills and lasting powers of attorney that were created for them.
“My fear is that there may be many more people affected by the actions of Universal Wealth Preservation who might be completely unaware that there is a problem and that urgent action now needs to be taken.”
Typically, couples parted with between £1,500 and £5,000 for wills, lasting powers of attorney and their trustee services.
Jessica added: “My advice to people affected by the collapse of Universal Wealth Preservation is to seek independent legal advice as soon as possible. A qualified solicitor can discuss with you the options available and investigate the prospect of recovering your money and the legal title to your home.”
Juliette Carter, Beswicks Legal wills and estates solicitor said: “It is very important that people seek immediate legal advice to review the wills and trusts that have been created by Universal Wealth Preservation. As a matter of urgency, they need to look at whether it is possible to remove the company as trustees and alter title deeds to ensure control over finances and homes is returned to families or representatives of their choosing.
“The truth is that much of the estate planning sector is not regulated in England and Wales, which means anyone can set themselves up to give advice on wills and trusts are legal documents. I would strongly advise people to seek advice from a qualified solicitor who will be able to put in place plans that are appropriate for each family’s individual needs.”
If you are affected by the collapse of Universal Wealth Preservation or require advice on any wills or estate planning issue, contact Jessica or Juliette for advice by phoning 01782 205000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org