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  • FIRST POST
    • happyhero
    • By happyhero 31st Mar 14, 1:16 PM
    • 1,146Posts
    • 54Thanks
    happyhero
    help please with Universal Wealth preservation Trust
    • #1
    • 31st Mar 14, 1:16 PM
    help please with Universal Wealth preservation Trust 31st Mar 14 at 1:16 PM
    Hi my mother is fretting over a scheme she has just paid for, one of those things where they tell you to take out a trust to protect yourself from inheritance tax so that that you can pass on more to your family rather than the tax man. She thought it was great at first but is now having doubts as to whether it is worth the money and does she really need it etc. I went to the first seminar with her and was with her for when they came round to arrange the trust she needed. She picked stage 2 and it came to £4000.

    Has anybody got any experience of these people or similar schemes?

    Once in the trust your property and savings/investments are protected from tax and any other attack basically.

    Both the seminar talker and the guy who came round have a bunch of qualifications in finance/investment and legal stuff, the seminar talker was a non practicing solicitor, i.e he used to be a solicitor before he did this.

    I like to think I am not easily swayed or taken in and both guys seemed nice genuine people plus I felt what they said made sense. I understood it all but my mother was worried that she did not. She feels all control will be taken away as they put the house and everything in trust whereas the way they do it is protect it in the trust and my mother becomes the boss for want of a better word and makes the decisions as to what will happen with everything, i..e who inherits what etc. Plus this way the property cannot be taken for things like care fees.

    I thought it was a good thing but my mother is now thinking of backing out and I must admit if she keeps being against it it does start to make me have doubts even though I was sure about it up till now.

    Can anybody tell me what they think or what would be brilliant if somebody has had this for a while and what their experience and thoughts of it are?
Page 16
    • don't get mad get even
    • By don't get mad get even 25th Jun 18, 9:30 AM
    • 8 Posts
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    don't get mad get even
    Hi. I did attend the meeting with Kleymans. I found it useful and suggest that you contact Shivani@kleymansolicitors.com.
    • Peripatetic
    • By Peripatetic 26th Jun 18, 6:53 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Peripatetic
    I did email Shivani@kleymansolicitors.com sometime ago but didn't get a reply. Could you tell me whether there were a lot of people at this meeting and perhaps some information as to what solutions to our problems they provided
    • IanManc
    • By IanManc 27th Jun 18, 5:55 PM
    • 654 Posts
    • 1,159 Thanks
    IanManc
    This is not an advertising forum for solicitors touting for custom.

    Have you obtained permission from the siteowners to post?
    Originally posted by Doc N
    There have been repeated references to another firm of solicitors on this thread, including contact details, so perhaps others could reasonably conclude that there wasn't a problem in their joining in.

    Not all solicitors are bent ambulance chasers. They do help people and they undergo extensive training so that they're capable of doing so.

    And no, I don't have any connexion with either firm of solicitors mentioned in this thread, or any knowledge of them.
    • Doc N
    • By Doc N 27th Jun 18, 7:19 PM
    • 6,762 Posts
    • 19,636 Thanks
    Doc N
    There have been repeated references to another firm of solicitors on this thread, including contact details, so perhaps others could reasonably conclude that there wasn't a problem in their joining in.

    Not all solicitors are bent ambulance chasers. They do help people and they undergo extensive training so that they're capable of doing so.

    And no, I don't have any connexion with either firm of solicitors mentioned in this thread, or any knowledge of them.
    Originally posted by IanManc
    Couldn't agree more - there are some excellent solicitors around, as well as some hopeless ones and some thoroughly corrupt ones.

    There is a protocol, though, for posts from businesses, and the post above clearly breaches it. The other posts to which you refer are almost entirely from ordinary MSE members (apparently) and not from the firms themselves. There is one exception, and that firm has MSE approval to post.

    MSE is not a place for firms to sell their wares, and that includes solicitors.
    • IanManc
    • By IanManc 27th Jun 18, 7:57 PM
    • 654 Posts
    • 1,159 Thanks
    IanManc
    Couldn't agree more - there are some excellent solicitors around, as well as some hopeless ones and some thoroughly corrupt ones.

    There is a protocol, though, for posts from businesses, and the post above clearly breaches it. The other posts to which you refer are almost entirely from ordinary MSE members (apparently) and not from the firms themselves. There is one exception, and that firm has MSE approval to post.

    MSE is not a place for firms to sell their wares, and that includes solicitors.
    Originally posted by Doc N
    Yes, I see your point.
    • Not out running
    • By Not out running 28th Jun 18, 4:16 PM
    • 1 Posts
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    Not out running
    Earlier this month we discovered that our parents had put their property in a Steven Long trust. They now have a solicitor acting for them, starting with trying to change the named trustees.

    We would like to know how the other people who started sooner with similar processes are getting on, as so far their solicitor has had attempts to make contact with Mr Long or his companies rebuffed, and they don't have access to their full Trust documentation.

    From wandering around the internet I've seen at least four firms of solicitors boasting that they can help their clients get out of Universal Wealth trust problems - but are there really any happy ex-Universal Wealth victims yet, or are solicitors just hoovering up collections of clients?
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 28th Jun 18, 4:54 PM
    • 4,661 Posts
    • 7,453 Thanks
    Malthusian
    From wandering around the internet I've seen at least four firms of solicitors boasting that they can help their clients get out of Universal Wealth trust problems - but are there really any happy ex-Universal Wealth victims yet, or are solicitors just hoovering up collections of clients?
    Originally posted by Not out running
    The first sign that Universal Wealth clients had sought professional legal advice and that legal action was in hand came just under two months ago. My understanding is that removing the Longs or Universal Wealth as trustees from these trusts will require court action and a ruling from a judge. It's likely to take several months just to get a court date. If Steven Long decides to string it out, it could take years before Universal Wealth is removed as trustees. So no, I think it is extremely unlikely that there are any happy ex-Universal victims yet. *edit*: See the post from Barker Gotelee below who is in a much better position than me.

    The short version of this story is that the Universal Wealth victims gave away an asset (to a trust controlled by Universal Wealth / Steve Long) and now regret doing so and want it back. That will always be an uphill struggle if the recipient chooses not to co-operate.
    Last edited by Malthusian; 29-06-2018 at 2:04 PM.
    • le loup
    • By le loup 28th Jun 18, 4:57 PM
    • 3,852 Posts
    • 3,836 Thanks
    le loup
    The short version of this story is that the Universal Wealth victims gave away an asset ……………
    Originally posted by Malthusian
    …………. so that I could pay for their care costs rather than their children!
    • Doc N
    • By Doc N 28th Jun 18, 5:16 PM
    • 6,762 Posts
    • 19,636 Thanks
    Doc N
    …………. so that I could pay for their care costs rather than their children!
    Originally posted by le loup
    .........except that the scheme didn't work anyway because it was marketed as a scheme to avoid care home fees, which ipso facto made it fail under the deprivation of assets rules applied by local councils.
    • Glen Clark
    • By Glen Clark 28th Jun 18, 5:51 PM
    • 4,221 Posts
    • 3,239 Thanks
    Glen Clark
    …………. so that I could pay for their care costs rather than their children!
    Originally posted by le loup
    all of whom claim it was done without their knowlege......
    But whoever the biggest crooks are I would still like to see the money paid back.
    So their mums and dads can go in nice care homes of their own choice, and I don't have to pay for them
    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” --Upton Sinclair
    • Glen Clark
    • By Glen Clark 28th Jun 18, 5:57 PM
    • 4,221 Posts
    • 3,239 Thanks
    Glen Clark
    .........except that the scheme didn't work anyway because it was marketed as a scheme to avoid care home fees, which ipso facto made it fail under the deprivation of assets rules applied by local councils.
    Originally posted by Doc N
    So whoever gave their money to these scammers is not the sharpest tool in the shed and is going to need our help to get it back. Otherwise we will be losers too if we end up paying their care home fees
    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” --Upton Sinclair
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 29th Jun 18, 9:12 AM
    • 4,661 Posts
    • 7,453 Thanks
    Malthusian
    …………. so that I could pay for their care costs rather than their children!
    Originally posted by le loup
    Rather than they themselves, you mean. Children don't pay for their parents' care costs unless they choose to.

    If money you are due to inherit is used to buy something, it is not a cost to you. No more than any other money which someone could give to you but chooses not to.
    • Barker Gotelee
      Verified User verified user
    • By Barker Gotelee Verified User verified user 29th Jun 18, 9:38 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Barker Gotelee
    We would like to know how the other people who started sooner with similar processes are getting on, as so far their solicitor has had attempts to make contact with Mr Long or his companies rebuffed, and they don't have access to their full Trust documentation.
    Originally posted by Not out running
    My understanding is that removing the Longs or Universal Wealth as trustees from these trusts will require court action and a ruling from a judge. It's likely to take several months just to get a court date. If Steven Long decides to string it out, it could take years before Universal Wealth is removed as trustees. So no, I think it is extremely unlikely that there are any happy ex-Universal victims yet.
    Originally posted by Malthusian
    Hi All

    In the majority of cases, removing Universal/Steven and Melanie Long should be relatively straightforward. We as a firm have successfully done this for a number of clients and have advised other solicitors on the best way forward. We have not needed to make contact with Universal or Steven and Melanie Long, however this will depend on the terms of your trust deeds.

    Updating the land registry is the next step and we have applications pending. I understand that others have already been successful.


    Some clients have found the trusts have been very beneficial to them and others have chosen not to keep the trusts. It really depends on why they were set up, the advice that was received at the time and the circumstances. There are many reasons why people may set up trusts like this.

    In regards to 'happy' Universal clients, I suspect that no clients are going to be truly happy as they have had to incur extra expense in removing the trustees, however yes, some have successfully done this at relatively low cost and some have gained benefits from the trusts they set up.

    The first step is to seek advice directly from a legal professional. I would recommend taking unregulated firms with a pinch of salt and making sure that your solicitor is confident they can advise you properly.

    On a related note, I have heard reference to firms encouraging class actions to recover original documents held at Universal's former premises, Dencora House, including reference to a court order to gain forced entry to the building. For the avoidance of doubt, those of us in contact with Suffolk Police will know that the documents are no long held at Dencora House; this was a rented building which the landlord would clearly have required back after the rent stopped being paid. The documents which were in Dencora House have been secured and works are underway to determine how best to proceed with these. Please note that we do not hold your documents at this time.

    A solicitor with experience regarding trusts and property will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed without access to the original documents. So far, we have experienced few difficulties as a result of not being able to obtain the original documents.

    Kind regards

    Becky
    Verified Company
    I am a verified representative of Barker Gotelee. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the Verified Companies list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE.
    • le loup
    • By le loup 29th Jun 18, 10:53 AM
    • 3,852 Posts
    • 3,836 Thanks
    le loup
    Rather than they themselves, you mean. Children don't pay for their parents' care costs unless they choose to.
    Originally posted by Malthusian
    No. Either the parent pays the cost and the child doesn't inherit or the child inherits and I pay the cost. So the child would pay the cost in the form of a reduced inheritance if the "scheme" worked as advertised.
    • Dennis Jenkins
    • By Dennis Jenkins 6th Jul 18, 9:43 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Dennis Jenkins
    Like others on this site, I was also taken in by Universal in 2013. I discovered things were not quite right when I saw some reviews and comments about not being able to contact Universal directly so it was then that I sent an email after seeing the notice on their website about scaling down the business. They said that if I wanted impartial information, I could contact Cohen Knights which I duly did as at the time there seemed no other possibilities and I wanted to get to the bottom of what was going on. At Universal,our house was in a family trust with the Longs as trustees. We also have a deed of variation trust of which we are the trustees, also Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney but no money(fortunately) went into the trust.
    To cut a long story short, Cohen Knights have been very helpful in sorting out the problems. They first did a review of all our documents and said all seemed in order except for the Longs as being Trustees. So after numerous phone conversations and e mails, they have removed the Longs as Trustees and replaced myself, my wife and my son as the new trustees and have sent us the new Land Registry Document with us on as the new trustees. They have also sent us all of the original trust documents and the wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney so we now(I hope!) are in full control.
    Obviously, there has been a cost to doing this and I know that Cohen Knights were initially using the same premises as Universal but at the time, I felt I had no other option and to be fair, they did say that other firms could also do the job if I wanted.
    In conclusion, I have found them very helpful.
    • Doc N
    • By Doc N 6th Jul 18, 11:08 PM
    • 6,762 Posts
    • 19,636 Thanks
    Doc N
    Like others on this site, I was also taken in by Universal in 2013. I discovered things were not quite right when I saw some reviews and comments about not being able to contact Universal directly so it was then that I sent an email after seeing the notice on their website about scaling down the business. They said that if I wanted impartial information, I could contact Cohen Knights which I duly did as at the time there seemed no other possibilities and I wanted to get to the bottom of what was going on. At Universal,our house was in a family trust with the Longs as trustees. We also have a deed of variation trust of which we are the trustees, also Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney but no money(fortunately) went into the trust.
    To cut a long story short, Cohen Knights have been very helpful in sorting out the problems. They first did a review of all our documents and said all seemed in order except for the Longs as being Trustees. So after numerous phone conversations and e mails, they have removed the Longs as Trustees and replaced myself, my wife and my son as the new trustees and have sent us the new Land Registry Document with us on as the new trustees. They have also sent us all of the original trust documents and the wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney so we now(I hope!) are in full control.
    Obviously, there has been a cost to doing this and I know that Cohen Knights were initially using the same premises as Universal but at the time, I felt I had no other option and to be fair, they did say that other firms could also do the job if I wanted.
    In conclusion, I have found them very helpful.
    Originally posted by Dennis Jenkins
    I see that you joined MSE today just to post this. No problem with that, of course, but you'll forgive me if I just comment that it does read just a tad like an advertisement for Cohen Knights.

    I'm sure Cohen Knights are fine people, but, and correct me if I'm wrong, are they not completely unregulated? They're not solicitors, are they? Or members of any regulating body? Do you know anything about them at all, because they seem to have no track record, and they just seemed to appear when Universal disappeared - at the same address, I believe?

    As I say, I'm sure they're fine people, whoever they are, but are you really suggesting that anybody who finds themselves in this mess should use anybody other than a solicitor or similarly regulated person to sort it all out?

    You're not in any way connected with them, are you?
    • Dennis Jenkins
    • By Dennis Jenkins 7th Jul 18, 1:05 PM
    • 2 Posts
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    Dennis Jenkins
    I apologise if my entry sounds like an advert for Cohen Knights, it certainly wasn't intended to be and I have no connection with them whatsoever apart for them doing the work for me that I have outlined. I just wanted to let people know that I was also a victim of Universal and at the time Cohen Knights seemed to be the only way forward(there seemed no other option then) as they were able to access my files fairly easily(presumably because some former employees of Universal are at Cohen Knights). The main thing is that I now have all of my original documents and the Longs have been removed as trustees and replaced by myself, my wife and my son.
    Another solicitor did write earlier on this site also saying they understood Cohen Knights had been helpful to some clients but I did not wish to promote them, especially as many other firms now appear to be willing to sort out the problems caused by Universal.
    • Gramacho
    • By Gramacho 19th Jul 18, 11:59 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Gramacho
    Universal court case
    Hi Doc ,
    Are you aware the Longs are still attending court on the 21st July in Ipswich .
    I haven’t been able to locate any information at all .

    Thanks in advance
    • Peripatetic
    • By Peripatetic 23rd Jul 18, 2:46 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Peripatetic
    As this date is a Saturday are there any court cases?. Has anybody heard anything?
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