Tonight on BBC One at 7.30pm BBC Inside Out East will look at the shocking story of the collapse of inheritance planning firm Universal Wealth Preservation.
The Ipswich-based company went into liquidation in May of this year, taking with it people’s life savings and assets.
Universal Wealth Preservation ran seminars across the UK, including Staffordshire and Cheshire, called Keep It In The Family at which they promised to protect people’s homes and savings from care fees and the taxman by placing assets into a trust, which named Universal Trustees Ltd as the trustees.
However, problems seemed to emerge at the end of 2017 when Universal Wealth Preservation started laying off staff and client enquiries went unanswered.
At Beswicks Legal we are already helping clients affected by this situation who are in need of independent legal advice on their options and the prospect of recovering their money and the legal title to their property.
Several key steps need to be taken immediately; check whether Lasting or Enduring Powers of Attorney have been registered; establish whose names properties are now registered in; and make sure Universal clients make new wills without delay.
Many people will need advice as to how to remove Universal Trustees Ltd as trustees of the trust which has control over their finances and their homes. This is something that you will need a solicitor’s help with.
There have been reports of other firms trying to exploit the collapse of Universal by approaching clients and saying they’ve taken over from the firm. Please be cautious if you are approached by a third party and take independent legal advice before agreeing to any action.
What many people do not realise is that the trust and estate planning sector is not regulated in England and Wales, which means anyone can set themselves up to advise on wills or estate planning, even if they are not properly qualified.
At the end of the day, wills and trusts are legal documents and we would strongly advise you to consult a qualified solicitor when making decisions about your estate or writing a will. Solicitors really are experts in their field and can help you to avoid future problems.
If you are a Universal Wealth Protection client who needs advice, please email Jessica Hancock, Disputes Solicitor, at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01782 205000. For advice on wills or estate planning, speak to one of our qualified wills and estates solicitors, by emailing email@example.com or phoning 01782 205000.