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Estate Planning Schemes

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Have you been offered a free estate planning seminar? How can you tell if it was legitimate or a scam?

Often time’s estate and financial planning solicitations start with a pitch for a free seminar that includes a presentation supposedly designed to help you avoid taxes or save money. At the end of the seminar, you’d then sign up for a follow up appointment with a so called trust or estate or senior expert.

Understand that these are pitches designed to sell you a product not provide you with impartial guidance. Avoid high pressure sales tactics that scare you. Look for fill-in-the-blank type documents because one size doesn’t begin to cover the myriad of individual issues.

Finally, don’t go alone. Ask a relative or friend to come so you can get an impartial opinion. And if you suspect fraud, complain to your state’s attorney general Bureau of Consumer Protection.