In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson talks about how to identify a VA scam artist. VA scam artists will try to help you with VA planning, but they get more a benefit out of it than you do. If someone is not a VA-accredited attorney or VA-accredited claims representative, you should not trust them with VA planning.
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Elder Law Minute. I want to talk to you about something that’s a concern to both the AARP and the Veterans Administration itself. And that is how to recognize someone who is a VA scam artist, who is telling you they’re going to help you with VA planning, but is actually doing themselves much more of a favor than you.
Two things to look for: Number one – are they suggesting that you put all or most of your life savings into an annuity? You don’t need to have any particular financial product to qualify for VA benefits. Your investments can, for the most part, be handled the same way you’ve handled them before and you can maintain your relationship with your investment advisor. Now, that’s not to say that annuities are always bad. Sometimes, particularly with IRAs, use of an annuity for part of the money can be a good part of a plan developed by an experience elder law attorney. But if somebody is presenting it as one-size-fits-all solution – look out.
Second way you can tell is by asking a simple and direct question – “Are you a VA-accredited attorney or a VA-accredited claims representative?” If the answer “yes”, you’re talking to somebody legitimate. If the answer is “No, but –“ cut them off before they go further. You’re talking to somebody who is probably a scam artist. Thanks!