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How NOT To Avoid Paying Care Home Fees / Inheritence Tax : UNIVERSAL WEALTH MANAGEMENT / STEPHEN LONG & Others - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

How NOT To Avoid Paying Care Home Fees / Inheritence Tax : UNIVERSAL WEALTH MANAGEMENT / STEPHEN LONG & Others

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
A little more ... East Anglian Daily Times :

http://www.eadt.co.uk/business/universa ... -1-5737046

" Large-scale" investigation into financial company in Ipswich.

The Eastern Region Specialist Operations Unit (ERSOU), which tackles serious organised crime, says more than 100 reports of possible fraudulent activity have been received in relation to Universal Wealth Management and associated companies.

The investigation was initially undertaken by Suffolk Constabulary before being passed to ERSOU due to its scale.

Two people connected with Universal Wealth Management, which went into compulsory liquidation in May, have been arrested for fraud and have been released under investigation.

Universal Wealth Management had its offices in White House Road, Ipswich, and 100 staff have lost their jobs.

The firm, which is the subject of a BBC Inside Out East programme this evening, ran seminars called Keep It In The Family.

These were allegedly focused on protecting people’s assets from inheritance tax and helping people avoid care home fees.

A leaflet for one of the companies in the group, Universal Wealth Preservation, stated: “45,000 families every year are forced to sell their homes. Making a will is not enough! Find out how YOU can protect your home and savings from care fees, the taxman and many other threats.”

Several months after the business premises of Universal Wealth Management closed, Universal Asset Protection, a company under the same address, entered into compulsory liquidation. The company website has since been taken down.

ERSOU are now in the process of examining the contents of hundreds of boxes of files that have been seized by police.

Detective Inspector Rob Turner, leading the investigation, said: “Investigations of this type are very complex and by their nature are likely to be long-running.

“I understand the concerns of those who have had dealings with this company and I’d like to reassure people that we are taking this matter seriously.

“We’re working closely with a number of partner agencies to ascertain the facts and we will endeavour to keep those affected updated as and when we have any further information.

“We’d urge anyone who has concerns, who has not yet made a report, to get in touch with Action Fraud who will then pass the information to ourselves.”

Anyone with information or who wishes to report a concern is asked to contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via the Action Fraud website.


https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mj ... s/upcoming
Stephen Long ... a list of current directorships ... if anyone wants to discover what companies are involved :

https://companycheck.co.uk/director/913 ... /companies


For those brave enough to visit FaceAche ... Universal Wealth Preservation FaceAche ... Reviews page :

https://en-gb.facebook.com/pg/Universal ... n/reviews/



Interesting article from The Lawyer Monthly web site :

https://www.lawyer-monthly.com/2018/10/ ... anagement/

What Can We Learn from the Collapse of Universal Wealth Management ?

The collapse of Universal Wealth Management last week has caused a stir among the general public but for those working within the legal profession it was more a question of when, not if, the firm would fold. Elizabeth Young, partner at Roythornes Solicitors, shares the lessons to be learnt from the scandal.

Universal Wealth Management has been operating for some time now and targets specific geographical areas inviting locals to seminars which focus on asset protection.

In principal there is nothing wrong with this tactic, however, their seminars sell asset protection schemes such as how to protect your house if you end up in a care home which are in many cases inappropriate, and result in families losing more than they protect.

The very nature of the ‘product’ tends to attract trusting, vulnerable, older people and it’s this specific aspect I take issue with, especially since most people never end up in care. In fact, approximately a mere 4% of the population aged above 65 years live in care homes, with this number rising to 16% for those aged over 85.

We are often approached by clients who are concerned and want to protect their assets, particularly their homes, in case they need to move in to residential care. Roythornes offer a balanced approach to such questions and consider all the pros and cons. In many cases it is simply not needed, but where it is a serious possibility, there are far gentler ways of protecting assets without going to the huge expense or process proposed by Universal Wealth.

There are therefore a few key pieces of advice I would give to not only the victims of the collapse but also to anyone who finds themselves in a situation which seems too good to be true.

1. Speak to someone you trust

If you are concerned about these issues then go to a source you can trust. Ask friends and family to recommend you to an adviser who is well known, and widely regarded in your area. Two heads are better than one and they may be able to recommend solutions to the problem or a place to get impartial advice. I would recommend starting with free resources such as Solicitors for the Elderly, Age UK or the Law Society but also seek legal advice if you’re particularly concerned.

2. Do your research

Before trusting anyone with your assets, do some research and make sure they have a proven track record of delivering a quality service. By doing your due diligence and researching whether they are regulated, what their reputation is like, who runs the company and what qualifications they have, you can quite quickly form an opinion.

If more people had researched Universal Wealth Management before handing over their assets they would have realised that the managing director had been suspended from STEP – the global professional association for family inheritance and succession planning practitioners – last year. A telling sign regarding the practices of the business.

3. Check in with your elderly friends and family

Most people are now aware of scams that come in the post or over the phone but it’s always worth watching out for the older members of your family or elderly friends to check they aren’t being lured into a deal, that is quite frankly, too good to be true.

Schemes, such as the seminars promoted by Universal Wealth Management using headlines such as ‘45,000 families every year are forced to sell their homes to pay for their care’, target the more vulnerable members of our society so keeping a watching eye over them is no bad thing.

My take home message is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is and if it isn’t, you’ve at least done your checks and won’t fall foul to bad or immoral practices.

Wise words ... more common sense ... some out there did NOT do their homework.
.... and another one :
Heavy fine for law firm over its link to care trusts adviser.

A law firm that teamed up with a rip-off bunch of unqualified legal advisers has been heavily fined by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, with one of its bosses suspended for six months.

Brown Turner Ross, which has offices in Liverpool and nearby Southport, worked with Goldstar Law Limited. Despite its name, Goldstar had no legally qualified staff, but it told clients it could set up trusts that would shelter property and savings if a client had to go into care.

Not surprisingly, sidestepping care home fees and dumping charges on to the local council is not that easy. I warned in 2014 that Brown Turner Ross took its instructions from Goldstar and not from Goldstar’s customers and that it stood back from any false claims that were made.

I revealed that Goldstar, based in Newark in Nottinghamshire, was run by father and son Alan and Matthew Appleyard, who were linked to a similar company, Legal Assistance, that was wound up by the High Court in 2011 after an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

In 2015, the Appleyards were both jailed for four years after a court heard that Goldstar had raked in half a million pounds from customers who were fraudulently assured they were dealing with legal experts.

Goldstar drummed up business with false claims and then relied on genuine solicitors Brown Turner Ross to do the paperwork.

The solicitors were not responsible for the false sales pitch, but the watchdog found that the firm sent trust deeds straight to Goldstar’s customers, who may have thought that Brown Turner Ross was acting in their interests rather than those of Goldstar. The solicitors failed to check that the deeds would match the sales pitch and the watchdog judged that they risked ‘potentially serious harm to the reputation of the profession.’

Brown Turner Ross and solicitor David Bushell have each been fined £25,000 and solicitor Kevin Ross has been suspended from the profession for six months. The two men and their firm were also ordered to pay a total of £40,000 in costs.
It's the old 'if it seems too good to be true - it is'.....

I know people feel 'skewered' by care home costs, and wriggle desparately to get out of it, but there IS no 'get out'. There just isn't.

It's like death and taxes. And care costs. No escape. (except by death of the caree, sigh)