Saturday, April 16, 2005

Annuities and Estate Planning

Allianz Life recently released a report that comes as no surprise. There are annuity agents out there who are wrapping up annuity sales by either posing as 'estate planners' or by including it in the 'estate planning package' when the attorney does his thing.

Now, this is no surprise. People are most vulnerable at the time of change. What does mean to you? Well let me explain. When you are trying to do your estate planning, the goal is to avoid estate taxes and probate. At that time, you begin to re-title your assets to put them in your trust. Many documents have to be signed and at that time, so much change is going on that annuity agents try to take advantage and slip in a few annuity sales at the same time. This is called the 'Living Trust Mill.' I like to call it the old switcheroo...

In fact, Allianz says, 'The representatives frequently misrepresent themselves as experts in estate planning. They gain the trust and confidence of the client, and then seek to use that trust to discover the extent of the clients assets under the pretext of determining whether the client can benefit from a living trust.'

Yes, no surprise. The industry is full of scams. My hats go off to Allianz Life Insurance company for exposing this and for stating that they will terminate agents who participate in any such actions.

So be careful...I just thought you might get something out of this information and hopefully you or nobody you know ever gets in this predicament.

Ignorance is not Bliss

Tony Bahu

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