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  • FIRST POST
    • happyhero
    • By happyhero 31st Mar 14, 1:16 PM
    • 1,143Posts
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    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 1
    • jimjames
    • By jimjames 31st Mar 14, 1:39 PM
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    jimjames
    • #2
    • 31st Mar 14, 1:39 PM
    • #2
    • 31st Mar 14, 1:39 PM
    If it was done for the specific reason of avoiding care fees then it could well be invalid.

    I'd also ask why she wants to avoid being able to choose the right care home if she should need it. I'd much rather have a choice that costs me than be forced to use one that I hate as it was chosen by the council.
    Remember the saying: if it looks too good to be true it almost certainly is.
    • antrobus
    • By antrobus 31st Mar 14, 1:40 PM
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    antrobus
    • #3
    • 31st Mar 14, 1:40 PM
    • #3
    • 31st Mar 14, 1:40 PM
    ...Once in the trust your property and savings/investments are protected from tax and any other attack basically........
    Originally posted by happyhero
    What is a Universal Wealth Preservation Trust (WPT)

    The Wealth Preservation Trust (WPT) is a !!!8216;life interest trust!!!8217;. When you protect your assets with a WPT you grant yourself a life interest in the trust and the settlor is known as the !!!8216;principle beneficiary!!!8217;. This means that you have the right to reside in any trust property (which may be your matrimonial home or normal residence) or you are entitled to the income if the trust fund consists of cash or investments. After your death, the WPT becomes a !!!8216;discretionary trust!!!8217; and as such those assets are held on trust for your chosen beneficiaries through a letter of wishes. The WPT is a form of Asset Protection as it is a trust set up during the lifetime of the settlor.

    http://universalwealthpreservation.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/what-is-universal-wealth-preservation.html

    I don't think that kind of arrangement will protect against IHT (see gift with reservation) or indeed a LA seeking payment of care home fees (see deprivation of capital). And discretionary trusts are actually subject to an almost penal level of taxation these days.

    Get proper professional advice from an independent solicitor or accountant.
    • ColdIron
    • By ColdIron 31st Mar 14, 1:47 PM
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    ColdIron
    • #4
    • 31st Mar 14, 1:47 PM
    • #4
    • 31st Mar 14, 1:47 PM
    {Text removed by MSE Investigator}

    Interestingly in their FAQ the answer to the question "Should I Seek An Opinion From My Financial Or Legal Adviser?" the answer is a roundabout No
    Last edited by MSE Investigator; 16-03-2017 at 10:11 AM.
    • happyhero
    • By happyhero 31st Mar 14, 2:53 PM
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    happyhero
    • #5
    • 31st Mar 14, 2:53 PM
    • #5
    • 31st Mar 14, 2:53 PM
    Thanks, although this trust is supposed to protect against the home being taken to fund the care fees we are all adamant in the family that we are going to avoid either my mother or step father going into care unless it becomes absolutely necessary i.e severe medical problems so she did not take it out for this reason. Also they have told us "as long as the trust is taken out at a time that you could not have foreseen going into care" that the money or property cannot be touched, i.e. to deliberately take out the trust to avoid paying care home fees results in the trust not being able to protect anything.

    The house they live in is worth about 500,000 and obviously will go up slowly and between them they have about 300,000 in investments (my stepfather was a keen investor but no longer trades as his mind is not up to it any longer) and this means there will be a potential for significant inheritence tax. The trust promises to protect the property and investments from IHT and on googling this it does seem to be the case with trusts Plus there is a facility to pass money to your children by way of a special type of loan thus protecting this money from divorce for example as debts have to be paid off first, before pay outs for any other reason.

    I'm probably not explaining it the best but it offers lots of protection basically in different ways and if someone had had it for a few years it would be great to help us to know their experiences with it all, good or bad.
    • bigadaj
    • By bigadaj 31st Mar 14, 3:22 PM
    • 10,816 Posts
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    bigadaj
    • #6
    • 31st Mar 14, 3:22 PM
    • #6
    • 31st Mar 14, 3:22 PM
    Such arrangements are often challenged, it's normally the case that you don't get something for nothing and so have to give something up to exclude it from your estate.

    The other thing is that with two allowances to use up the total assets aren't radically above the iht limits, particularly as you'd expect capital to be run down over time, and potential for downsizing or similar.

    It's rarely good to let the tax tail wag the dog, whether that be in benefits, investment or avoidance of taxes or care.
    • jimjames
    • By jimjames 31st Mar 14, 5:20 PM
    • 12,588 Posts
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    jimjames
    • #7
    • 31st Mar 14, 5:20 PM
    • #7
    • 31st Mar 14, 5:20 PM
    {Text removed by MSE Investigator}

    {Text removed by MSE Investigator}

    Who are they regulated by? Solicitor body? Tax body? FCA? Accountant professional body?

    None of these are mentioned so it would seem you have no recourse to any complaint procedure if they don't deliver what is promised.

    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.
    Originally posted by happyhero
    From their website it appears they are more salespeople than anything else - they pay introducer fees for other people to pass business on.

    {Text removed by MSE Investigator}

    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.
    Originally posted by happyhero
    If she isn't confident then you should suggest she takes proper advice. Otherwise she could be 4000 out of pocket and not have any benefit from spending that.
    Last edited by MSE Investigator; 16-03-2017 at 10:17 AM.
    Remember the saying: if it looks too good to be true it almost certainly is.
  • Loony tune
    • #8
    • 25th Nov 14, 2:16 PM
    Universal Wealth Preservation
    • #8
    • 25th Nov 14, 2:16 PM
    Just been reading up on this company, is there anyone out there that has actually used their services, if so how did they rate them?
    I was considering allowing a rep into my home following a recent seminar, it sounded impressive but I would like to hear of any actual impartial recommendations -or otherwise.
    • jimjames
    • By jimjames 25th Nov 14, 2:34 PM
    • 12,588 Posts
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    jimjames
    • #9
    • 25th Nov 14, 2:34 PM
    • #9
    • 25th Nov 14, 2:34 PM
    Just been reading up on this company, is there anyone out there that has actually used their services, if so how did they rate them?
    I was considering allowing a rep into my home following a recent seminar, it sounded impressive but I would like to hear of any actual impartial recommendations -or otherwise.
    Originally posted by Loony tune
    Before you allow them in why not ask your solicitor or financial advisor what they think?

    No way would I invite someone from a company like this into my home. It's bad enough being at a seminar but why would you let them come to you?
    Remember the saying: if it looks too good to be true it almost certainly is.
    • Motormad
    • By Motormad 25th Nov 14, 3:19 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 32 Thanks
    Motormad
    I went to a seminar 2 or 3 years ago similar to this although it was to protect against care home fees not IHT.I was quite taken with it but didn't proceed,it was around 3k per couple and included the cost of probate and they stated that they would fight the L A if they tried to counter it at no cost to ourselves.It was organised by an IFA firm and they even had Justin Urqhart Stewart as a guest speaker.Im speaking from N E Scotland so the laws probably a bit different in our case.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 25th Nov 14, 3:25 PM
    • 25,373 Posts
    • 14,969 Thanks
    xylophone
    With regard to deprivation:-


    http://www.ageuk.org.uk/Documents/EN-GB/Factsheets/FS40_deprivation_of_assets_in_the_means_test_for_c are_home_provision_fcs.pdf?dtrk=true

    Disposal of assets is not necessarily carried out to avoid a charge for accommodation or to gain assistance sooner than would otherwise have been the case. The local authority or Pension Service has to show that this intention was there before it can take transferred capital into account.

    There is no law to prevent people from (legally) arranging their affairs to pay as little Inheritance Tax as possible?
    • bowlhead99
    • By bowlhead99 25th Nov 14, 4:17 PM
    • 7,835 Posts
    • 14,310 Thanks
    bowlhead99
    Before you allow them in why not ask your solicitor or financial advisor what they think?

    No way would I invite someone from a company like this into my home. It's bad enough being at a seminar but why would you let them come to you?
    Originally posted by jimjames
    I agree with finding your own solicitor / advisor to get a second opinion, although clearly those selling the scheme would not recommend that, because it effectively doubles up on some of the cost base (i.e. cost for them to concoct the scheme and your own advisor to fully review the scheme and then say how they might have done it instead, with lots of caveats).

    A problem is that 'law' is quite a wide ranging subject, as is 'financial advice'. And so in terms of 'why not ask your advisor'... firstly many of us do not have a standard 'go to' advisor ; secondly, even if we have someone we've used for certain limited scope activities - house conveyancing, a contract dispute, pension investment portfolio planning - that person may not be a STEP specialist or hold themselves out as being an expert in the area of estate planning. Perhaps they could pick obvious holes in the plan but not give you the bespoke tailored advice you were looking for. Of course, you might just be happy with them picking holes, if it saves you from buying a flawed or expensive product.

    If they are an expert in that area, you can probably just get them to construct you something, rather than need to engage the group being discussed in this thread. If they're not an expert however, they might make a referral to a reputable group who doesn't need 'granny seminars' to drive their business. Either way I would suspect you would be able to have a bespoke, working solution as the outcome of that process and probably leave the above mentioned group, on the shelf. I doubt they are doing anything miraculous that nobody else has thought of, in terms of how to solve the various individual planning problems that make up a 'universal' solution to wealth preservation.

    Ultimately such individual planning problems result in decisions being taken around cost, risks and benefits including both pros and cons, and inevitably you can't keep all the pros and none of the cons without taking on a risk of it all being challenged (and the person setting it up, still being in business when it's being unravelled down the line). If someone is offering a single perfect universal solution that seems like value for money, they should be regarded as snake oil salesmen: - telling you what you want to hear, rather than what the real risks, expenses and downsides could really be in all the worst case hypothetical scenarios.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 25th Nov 14, 4:33 PM
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    • 59,963 Thanks
    dunstonh
    I went to a seminar 2 or 3 years ago similar to this although it was to protect against care home fees not IHT.I was quite taken with it but didn't proceed,it was around 3k per couple and included the cost of probate and they stated that they would fight the L A if they tried to counter it at no cost to ourselves.It was organised by an IFA firm and they even had Justin Urqhart Stewart as a guest speaker.Im speaking from N E Scotland so the laws probably a bit different in our case.
    Originally posted by Motormad
    That probably resulted in the sale of an investment bond. That investment tax wrapper is not included in the means test as long as the reason for doing it was not stated as avoiding the means test. i.e. it has to be a happy coincidence. Such as recommending it for IHT planning or tax efficiency or low charges.

    Quite genuine although buying via seminars can be quite an expensive way to do it. Often worth listening to what is said and then find your own local IFA to discuss it.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • Nosler
    I understand that any capital gains are crystallised when assets are put into a trust.....
  • Teejay613
    Help
    My FIL has just told us he's paid 1400 to this company to stop his two sons having to pay inheritance tax. Is this a good scheme?

    He is someone who gets draw in and will never learn, he was a victim of a perimid, scheme and lost 3000 on that one.

    Any advice would be very gratefully received
    • Athena2016
    • By Athena2016 25th Nov 16, 10:12 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Athena2016
    Be Careful!
    My parents did not obtain independent advice prior setting up Trusts with this organisation. Since both their deaths I have obtained independent legal advice from a Trust specialist. In summary: the basis upon which they were sold the Trusts, some 6 years ago was dubious, in addition the managing director Steve Long claimed he was a lawyer (BBC 2011) when he is not. I believe this latter claim prompted trusting individuals such as my parents to believe they did not need to obtain independent advice.

    The information provided to my parents failed to set out the pros and cons of setting up the Trusts nor the loss of control of their asset; their home now registered to Steve & Melanie Long at the Land Registry. Before his death my father became very distressed by this revelation.

    Since 2012 there has been a considerable increase in the companies assets and an increase in power base of Steve Long. The majority of staff are unqualified salesmen which calls into question whether it is right and proper for an organisation to be advising on a major legal product where they have a vested interest and sales targets to meet.

    Other issues include: unsupported property valuations at set up, lack of knowledge of the full personal assets of my parents so undermining the purpose, inappropriate Trust for what was required so attracting IHT which would not have been the situation without the Trusts, legal documents lost and a general lack of professionalism.

    My parents believed they were leaving a better financial situation for their family; in fact it has created a complicated, expensive and difficult problem for the beneficiaries to sort out. I will not hesitate to get redress from this organisation if we are unable to quickly extract the assets from this mess.
    • sam67
    • By sam67 3rd Feb 17, 7:38 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    sam67
    Universal Wealth Trust - Help please!
    I've joined this forum specifically after googling the company name. My parents have just told me that they signed up for this scheme a few years ago and after seeking advice from a solicitor have been notified that their home is registered to this couple. The solicitor advised them to remove their names asap, how do you even do this?

    They are now worried sick and extremely concerned as to what will happen when they pass away. They have lived in their home nearly 50 years and the thought of someone else having control over it just sickens me.
    Do you mind me asking how things are going with you and is anything resolved? I don't know where to start!
    Last edited by sam67; 03-02-2017 at 7:42 PM.
    • Doc N
    • By Doc N 3rd Feb 17, 7:55 PM
    • 6,659 Posts
    • 19,540 Thanks
    Doc N
    I've joined this forum specifically after googling the company name. My parents have just told me that they signed up for this scheme a few years ago and after seeking advice from a solicitor have been notified that their home is registered to this couple. The solicitor advised them to remove their names asap, how do you even do this?

    They are now worried sick and extremely concerned as to what will happen when they pass away. They have lived in their home nearly 50 years and the thought of someone else having control over it just sickens me.
    Do you mind me asking how things are going with you and is anything resolved? I don't know where to start!
    Originally posted by sam67
    I have to say first that the only direct knowledge I have of these people is via a seminar I attended out of curiosity to see what they were up to.

    {Text removed by MSE Investigator}

    You'd need first to get hold of a copy of the trust deed to find out who the trustees are, what assets they hold, and who the beneficiaries are. It's probably a form of discretionary trust, with a class of potential beneficiaries who can receive benefits under the trust, but you need to see the actual documentation. Whether the trustees can be removed depends to some extent on the trust document, but it's by no means a simple matter and legal advice/action would almost certainly be needed.
    Last edited by MSE Investigator; 16-03-2017 at 9:43 AM.
    • Pincher
    • By Pincher 3rd Feb 17, 8:13 PM
    • 6,516 Posts
    • 2,491 Thanks
    Pincher
    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/parents-call-in-lawyers-over-soaring-care-costs-vnkfl22zs

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4027824/Rising-cost-elderly-care-causing-middle-aged-parents-call-lawyers-make-clear-DIE-children-pay-looked-after.html

    Ageing parents are drawing up legal documents to state they would rather die than allow excessive care home fees to eat into their child's inheritance.


    If you want something, somebody will sell it to you.

    If you want a husband/wife, there's a dating site that will promise to get you one.

    My father secretly made a will, after I told him it's a problem if there is no will. In the will, He gifted me a house that wasn't in his name. He literally went for the cheapest solicitor he could find in the classified ads.

    Parents, it's a wonder they managed to have children at all.

    Hmm, maybe I should get myself tested, since I'm the son of an idiot.
    Last edited by Pincher; 03-02-2017 at 8:25 PM.
    • fergies_army
    • By fergies_army 8th Feb 17, 3:09 PM
    • 103 Posts
    • 64 Thanks
    fergies_army
    I was just about to start a new thread for advice (which I will probably do anyway) but my mother had a trust with Universal Wealth. She has recently had to sell the property to downscale, the proceeds went to the trust however she has not received it she is now homeless and penny less!

    Steven Long is apparently out of the country and no one will respond to her the money is awol.

    She is seeking legal advice but it does not look good.
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