Did you go to a Universal Wealth Preservation ‘Keep it in the Family’ seminar?

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Universal Wealth Preservation (UWP) are under investigation by the police, national fraud and the Cyber Crime Reporting Centre. Customers should also, if they have not done already, report their concerns to Action Fraud quoting ‘Operation Ardent’.

It is estimated that as many as 8,000 people could have set up trusts with the now discredited company and its related firms.

The individuals behind the companies are Mr Steven Long and his wife Mrs Melanie Long.  Companies House records show 6 of the 15 companies in relation to which Mr Long was a Director have been dissolved between May 2017 and October 2018. Universal Asset Protection Limited entered into a compulsory liquidation in May 2018.

Issues for customers of the Universal group include: lack of trusts management, delays in state administration, delays in receiving payments from trusts, concerns over the security of any assets which have been transferred into Trusts managed by Universal (and recoverability of those assets), and the security of original Wills and Trusts documents (and difficulty obtaining those documents from Universal).  In the majority of cases the customers’ main asset is their home, which has been transferred into a trust, and a legal charge has been registered against the property in favour of the trustees (UWP).

PWL have received a number of enquiries about Universal Tax Solutions, Universal Wealth Preservation, Universal Asset Protection and Universal Trustees.

We are presently acting for clients that have become concerned by the apparent sudden closure of the above business. PWL have taken a lot of calls from worried people and have successfully assisted former UWP clients. If you have been affected, we can help. We are already assisting a number of clients in this case, both in an attempt to recover assets, but also with land registry titles.

PWL can help you in a number of ways –

  • Remove UWP, or an associated company, as the trustees and give back to you – control of your assets and home.
  • Check whether Lasting or Enduring Powers of Attorney have been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
  • If you are not in possession of an original will, PWL can make a new one without delay
  • Replace Universal/Mr and Mrs Long with another trustee and Remove UWP/Long from the Title Register at the Land Registry.

Find out how we can assist you today by contacting us on 01625 836 406 or using the contact page on our website.

Mac Miller’s Tragic Death Highlights Importance Of A Will

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Mac Miller, the American Rapper who died of a suspected drug overdose on September 7th, has left his fortune to his family according to his Will.
The Will named parents, Karen Meyer and Mark McCormack, along with his brother, Miller McCormack, as the main beneficiaries to his estate. They will inherit all assets, including his wealth, properties and possessions. Although Miller’s death was unexpected and avoidable, the fact that he made a Will should allow his family to grieve without any additional anxieties and concerns.
Miller, 26, has a suspected fortune of £6.9 million at the time of his death.
In addition to the tragic way Miller died, the fact that the 26 year old had a Will is also fairly shocking considering the most recent 2018 figures.
The most recent reports indicate that only 75% of people aged over 55, and therefore more likely to be considering after death planning, have made Wills; with only 45% of the UK population ensuring that they have a legally binding Will. Staggeringly, only 24% of people in the UK under 35 have made a Will. This number only increases to 26% if the household has a child over the age of four.
According to the Office of National Statistics Deaths by Single Year report, 3,057 men aged between 18 and 30 died in 2017 in the UK alone. Even though the figure for female deaths in this age bracket is considerably lower at 1,221, the combined figure of 4,278 people dying in the UK during 2017 highlights the extent of the issue.
These figures would mean that 3,251 of these people would die intestate, without a Will, ultimately inflicting additional distress and upset on their loved ones.
Managing Director, Marc Thomas, commented: This highlights the importance that everyone should have a Will, especially if they own property or have children. Lots of people shy away from making Wills because they equate it with dying, whereas in reality it is simply a financial planning opportunity to make sure that the right people inherit at the right time. This opportunity has been highlighted in the case of Mac Miller, as proper planning has ensured his family have no additional stress or concerns”.

DIY Wills Are Causing Family Disputes

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A recent report, carried out by Which?Legal, has found that DIY Wills are damaging to families.
At a time when people making Wills is at a particular low point, the research has found that more people than ever are making DIY Wills.
Astonishingly, 40% of the respondents, that had made a Will, confessed to using a DIY or free Will writing service, lured in by the affordability and personal touch that could be added when it was completed by themselves.
Despite the fact that a personal Will may seem in the best interests of all concerned, High Court disputes concerning Wills has increased by over a third in the past five years with fears that this statistic is only going to rise because of these unprofessional and often naively written Wills.
Our MD, Marc Thomas, commented: “The growing use of DIY Wills and Probate is partly to blame for the increase in challenges which end up costing £15-20,000 and taking 12 or more months to resolve, delaying inheritances. Wills can end in a legal dispute if someone does not think they have been left what they were promised, but may be easier to defend if the process was carried out properly. People understandably want to save money, but this can lead to major problems, as the increase in legal disputes shows. As with anything else you get what you pay for, and a DIY or free Will as a false economy.”
About 60% of people do not have a Will in place but around 80% of people with a Will have the wrong Will for their wishes due to the fact that they have received no advice.
Marc also commented: “Wills should be reviewed every 3-5 years and after major life events. It can be incredibly expensive to have a Will that is not up-to-date. Disputes can have a devastating effect on families. You should always keep your Will updated to avoid the stress, cost and fallout from a dispute.”
Additionally, 38% of respondents that had not made a Will because they believed that their estate had nothing worth inheriting, often omitting the sentimental considerations.
Darren Stott, Which?Legal Managing Director, stated: “Whatever stage of life you are at, a Will offers peace of mind and ensures your money, property and all other possessions go to the right place. Your family could also face additional legal fees, taxes and challenges. Otherwise loved ones might be deprived of their home to joint ownership, as intestacy rules rarely recognise unmarried couples.”
Despite industry protestations, the report suggests that the country will continue to dabble in DIY Wills or turn their back on the idea altogether.
For personal advice on your circumstances, given free of charge, contact us today on 01625 836406.

© 2018 Port Worth Law Limited.