Monthly Archives: June 2009

Wesley Snipes and the Pure Trust scam

In my Michigan probate litigation practice, I see many instances of scams and exploitation of seniors.  I’ve been working on a new case involving a “pure trust”.  Normally, I’m all in favor of trusts.  That is, legitimate trusts, such as the revocable living trusts that most reputable estate planning attorneys use.

Any trusts offered by a company rather than a lawyer should questioned right off the bat.  For example, I previously posted an article about “trust kits” and why they are dangerous.  Pure trusts, sometimes known as “common law trusts” or “constitutional trusts”, are even worse.

Since the early 1990’s, unscrupulous companies have been peddling these documents to help people place assets into what they describe as separate legal entities that are outside of the jurisdiction of the United States.  Why would that interest people?  Taxes.  You transfer your assets into these pure trusts, the sales pitch goes, and boom — no more taxes!

Sound too good to be true?  It is.  The IRS has been cracking down on pure

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