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  • FIRST POST
    • happyhero
    • By happyhero 31st Mar 14, 1:16 PM
    • 1,145Posts
    • 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 12
    • Glen Clark
    • By Glen Clark 14th May 18, 6:15 PM
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    Glen Clark
    They say its put her assets where they can't be taken to pay her care home fees, but does that mean someone else will pay?
    As far as I can see the only substance there is her MP wouldn't take it on. But who would expect a politician to when there are no votes in it?
    Last edited by Glen Clark; 14-05-2018 at 6:25 PM.
    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it. --Upton Sinclair
    • Barker Gotelee
      Verified User verified user
    • By Barker Gotelee Verified User verified user 15th May 18, 8:49 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Barker Gotelee
    Seek independent advice
    Hello all


    I am a solicitor (Barker Gotelee Solicitors) with experience dealing with Wills, Powers of Attorney, Care Fees and Trusts (including Universal Trusts). As a firm we have been growing increasingly concerned about both Universal and other unregulated firms which sell these products to clients (often when the clients don't need or understand them).


    I am in the process of removing Universal as trustees on a number of trusts and giving back control of the assets (usually a house) to the client. I urge anyone concerned about these types of trusts to seek advice from a regulated solicitors firm. In particular, my firm offers a free initial 30 minute consultation to consider the best approach for each individual client.


    If anyone would like a confidential chat, my contact details are on my firm's website (please Google "Barker Gotelee" as I am unable to post website links) and I am happy to chat face-to-face (at our office in Martlesham Heath), over the phone or via video conferencing.


    Kind regards

    Becky
    • Doc N
    • By Doc N 15th May 18, 8:56 AM
    • 6,723 Posts
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    Doc N
    Hello all


    I am a solicitor (Barker Gotelee Solicitors) with experience dealing with Wills, Powers of Attorney, Care Fees and Trusts (including Universal Trusts). As a firm we have been growing increasingly concerned about both Universal and other unregulated firms which sell these products to clients (often when the clients don't need or understand them).


    I am in the process of removing Universal as trustees on a number of trusts and giving back control of the assets (usually a house) to the client. I urge anyone concerned about these types of trusts to seek advice from a regulated solicitors firm. In particular, my firm offers a free initial 30 minute consultation to consider the best approach for each individual client.


    If anyone would like a confidential chat, my contact details are on my firm's website (please Google "Barker Gotelee" as I am unable to post website links) and I am happy to chat face-to-face (at our office in Martlesham Heath), over the phone or via video conferencing.


    Kind regards

    Becky
    Originally posted by RebeccaMcCarthy(BG)
    Your firm is, I happen to know, a reputable firm - and very much in the area that this outfit operated from.

    Here's the link from your website:

    https://www.barkergotelee.co.uk/universal-wealth-preservation-trusts/

    Obviously, other firms are available, and you should know that if you want to post here you'll need to obtain permission from MSE to post as an accredited representative of Barker Gotelee.

    You might want to add a comment about potential costs (approximate, of course) to give people some idea of what they might be signing up to.
    • Piggy in the middle
    • By Piggy in the middle 15th May 18, 10:17 AM
    • 4 Posts
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    Piggy in the middle
    Legal Costs
    I would be interested to know the approximate cost of removing Mr Long as Trustee from a property
    • townngown
    • By townngown 15th May 18, 2:09 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    townngown
    The Trustee is the problem
    The BBC Moneybox journalist and the Law Society representative made one error in focusing on Estate Planners as the problem here. Universal are virtually unique in the Estate Planning sphere in that their trusts appoint Steve and Melanie Long as trustees - ie you are transferring ownership of your house/money/assets to them and you TRUST THEM. That is not a good idea even if money hadn't allegedly gone missing. 99% of estate planners who advise on trusts will always ensure that family members are trustees, and point out that you even have to trust those family members, as you are transferring legal ownership to them. It appears to me that Mr Long has found a way of bypassing the various regulatory bodies that govern professional people who invest clients money and if any regulatory body should be involved in such circumstances it should be the FCA
    As for removing trustees - this is complex and expensive and you will need a solicitor to do that. I would recommend that you do this asap particularly if the trust holds property. Whether you go a further step and "bust the trust" and transfer property to the beneficiaries is a decision that needs to be taken with someone who understands trusts and what the advantages and disadvantages are of that course of action
    If the Universal trust only has cash or investments in it, after reading this forum and the amounts involved and in my mind adding to that those people who haven't posted but who could be in the same situation, you may find that the cost of changing trustees does not merit the expense if you suspect that there is no chance of obtaining anything from Mr Long. (Or at least wait until you know if you are likely to recover anything before incurring further legal expense to recover what may end up to be little or nothing).
    • Barker Gotelee
      Verified User verified user
    • By Barker Gotelee Verified User verified user 16th May 18, 8:46 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Barker Gotelee
    Legal Costs
    Thank you Doc N, for your kind words about the firm, for putting the link up and for letting me know about needing permission - I'd read the four forum rules but not seen that - I have now emailed MSE and notified them of my first reply and asked for permission.


    In terms of costs, it's difficult to say what these would be without knowing individual circumstances (is the settlor (the person who set up the trust) alive, is the trust asset a house or money (or both) and where are the original deeds).


    I will highlight that the initial meeting would be free and we would be able to give a more tailored estimate of fees at the end of that meeting.


    However, by way of a guideline, I would estimate that in the most simple circumstances, the remove Steven and Melanie Long as trustees, appoint new trustees and deal with the transfer of the house into the names of the new trustees, the costs would be 150 - 200 + VAT and disbursements. The disbursements would be the land registry fees for checking the title to the property (3) and the transfer (likely to be 20 - 40 depending on the house value).


    I hope that helps.


    Kind regards
    Becky
    • Piggy in the middle
    • By Piggy in the middle 16th May 18, 9:27 AM
    • 4 Posts
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    Piggy in the middle
    Legal Costs
    Hi Becky

    Thank you for taking the time to make your post. That all sounds really straight forward. I suppose the situation is more complex regarding the implications of the "Trust" .
    • Barker Gotelee
      Verified User verified user
    • By Barker Gotelee Verified User verified user 16th May 18, 7:27 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Barker Gotelee
    Hi Piggy in the middle,


    Hi Becky

    That all sounds really straight forward. I suppose the situation is more complex regarding the implications of the "Trust" .
    Originally posted by Piggy in the middle

    For many people, yes, hopefully the situation will be nice and straight forward, for others I'm afraid it can be more complex.


    Just a note as I have now heard that another unregulated firm (based in the north) has gotten hold of the Universal Client list and is writing to all of Universal's clients.


    I always recommend clients take unregulated firms with a pinch of salt - with a regulated solicitor's firm, if they were to go bust, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) would step in to ensure that clients are protected - with unregulated firms, you lose that protection, as has happened with Universal.
    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.
    • Doc N
    • By Doc N 16th May 18, 7:45 PM
    • 6,723 Posts
    • 19,609 Thanks
    Doc N

    Just a note as I have now heard that another unregulated firm (based in the north) has gotten hold of the Universal Client list and is writing to all of Universal's clients.
    Originally posted by Barker Gotelee
    We're not talking about these people by any chance, are we:

    http://www.inheritance-preservation.co.uk/
    • Chillierabbit77
    • By Chillierabbit77 16th May 18, 10:19 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Chillierabbit77
    Cohan knights
    Hi Doc N

    The company that is writing to all of the Universal clients is a "new firm" called Cohan Knights.
    Coincidentally, 2 of this unregulated LLP's named directors are former solicitors of Universal. It's also no coincidence that they have all of the contact details of the clients. Another coincidence is that this very company was originally registered at the same address as universal. Dencora house.
    Looks to me like Steve long has his filthy fingers all over this and is potentially indirectly still involved.
    Very suspect!
    • Doc N
    • By Doc N 16th May 18, 10:58 PM
    • 6,723 Posts
    • 19,609 Thanks
    Doc N
    [IMG][/IMG]


    Thanks - Cohen Knights LLP has a fascinating history. We shall doubtless learn more.........
    • Chillierabbit77
    • By Chillierabbit77 17th May 18, 8:51 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Chillierabbit77
    Cohan Knights
    I totally Agree Doc N

    this all seems very spurious! it is no coincidence that the 2 top directors that appear in the document here are the very solicitors that were in charge when all of this trouble started and Steve was nominating him self as the legal owners of clients homes and hard earned assets!
    Maybe though this is another coincidence? the 3rd person on that list has the same sir name as the person charged with keeping the company going when it was all going wrong! Maybe this is just a fluke though that the Interim Chief Financial Officer has the same sir name as one of the directors of Cohan Knights and that somehow they have got access to all of the unfortunate universal client files!
    And that they are asking clients to pay to mop up the mess that they have played a very part in creating!
    Not very transparent if they are not telling clients this!
    Is this honest?
    Clients beware!!
    • Glen Clark
    • By Glen Clark 17th May 18, 9:16 AM
    • 4,205 Posts
    • 3,222 Thanks
    Glen Clark
    hard earned assets!
    Originally posted by Chillierabbit77
    Err.. Perhaps better not to mention 'hard earned' ?
    Since a selling point to marks was to bung their mother in a cheap care home at our expense so they could inherit assets they have not earned.
    Otherwise good points I think.
    I would like to see everyone get their money back and use it to pay their own care home fees in nice care homes of their own choice.
    Last edited by Glen Clark; 17-05-2018 at 9:19 AM.
    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it. --Upton Sinclair
    • Barker Gotelee
      Verified User verified user
    • By Barker Gotelee Verified User verified user 17th May 18, 10:22 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Barker Gotelee
    Cohen Knights
    Hello all
    We're not talking about these people by any chance, are we:

    http://www.inheritance-preservation.co.uk/
    Originally posted by Doc N

    They weren't the firm I was referring to, which for legal reasons I am hesitant to mention by name, but again, I would treat firms similar to Universal with caution.

    The company that is writing to all of the Universal clients is a "new firm" called Cohan Knights.
    Originally posted by Chillierabbit77

    Cohen Knights are not the firm I was referring to, although I understand they are writing to some (no all) of Universal's clients.


    I have spoken with Cohen Knights and my understanding is that they are not currently working with Universal. In my experience, they have been extremely helpful with my clients.


    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.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 17th May 18, 10:52 AM
    • 4,473 Posts
    • 7,104 Thanks
    Malthusian
    I have spoken with Cohen Knights and my understanding is that they are not currently working with Universal. In my experience, they have been extremely helpful with my clients.
    Originally posted by Barker Gotelee

    It's very easy to be helpful towards a scam victim when you know everything about them and the ins and outs of the scam, by virtue of the fact that you were the one who scammed them.
    • Chillierabbit77
    • By Chillierabbit77 17th May 18, 11:44 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Chillierabbit77
    Cohan Knights
    Must all just be a massive coincidence then!
    • Glen Clark
    • By Glen Clark 17th May 18, 5:48 PM
    • 4,205 Posts
    • 3,222 Thanks
    Glen Clark
    Scammers often contact their victims in another guise, to fleece them again, or just find out how much they know and what they are doing about it..
    Information is power etc..
    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it. --Upton Sinclair
    • Nicolehogger
    • By Nicolehogger 18th May 18, 12:39 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Nicolehogger
    Cohen Knights
    A quick companies house search shows the directors of Cohen Knights.

    My brother was an apprentice at UWP for a short while, and he has confirmed that these directors are previous managers at the company, and were very close to Mr. Long.

    If talking to this firm - proceed with utmost caution please.
    • tripslipper
    • By tripslipper 21st May 18, 5:11 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    tripslipper
    Tripslipper
    If Cohen Knights are registered at the same address as Universal is this not worrying though?

    As some forum posters have checked this and state that it's so.


    Also that Cohen Knight have people who were ex directors of Universal, seems worrying to me?


    Hopefully when a solicitor approaches them they(Cohen Knights) act professionally and comply?
    Does anyone know if their solicitor has managed to transfer the title deeds yet?
    • tripslipper
    • By tripslipper 21st May 18, 5:17 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    tripslipper
    Tripslipper
    Not everyone with a Trust is trying to as you put it ' bung their relative in a cheap home', some have complex mixed marriage/childrensituations and they want to ensure that their children/family get their rightful inheritance rather than the 'new' family.
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