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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8445
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I took out a Family Trust to avoid my house from being used

Resolved Question:

I took out a Family Trust to avoid my house from being used to fund possible future care costs. Despite the Will Companies insistence that this was 'bomb proof' I've read since that these Trusts can be easily challenged by Local Authorities. However, this is not the main part of my problem. As a spinal injured person I realised that even if it was 'bomb proof' it wouldn't be suitable if my wife died first and I went into care as I'd need more specialist care than a council care home could provide. I informed the company that I didn't want to continue with the Trust because of this. The company have refused to refund me any of the money, £3,500, apart from £80 land fee registration. The meeting took place in my house, the money was taken at the time before I'd seen any of the documents and at no time was I informed that there was a cooling off period (it was after a few weeks before I informed them of my decision). I only found about this recently. How do I stand?
Kind regards *****
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 4 months ago.

These are far from bombproof.

When did you take this out?

How did you pay?

Do you have anything in writing that says that this is alleged to be “bombproof”?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I paid on 7th April by credit card. I have nothing in writing that he said it was bomb proof. In fact on thinking about it it was someone else who coined the phrase. He said that they'd successfully defended a couple of challenges from LA's and that they were unlikely to come after these Trusts because it was a lot of trouble for them particularly as they'd lose.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 4 months ago.

I disagree completely with what has been told to you by this company. This is obviously what your research has come up with. If only or assets are moved anywhere to avoid paying care fees, the local authority can have the arrangements set aside.

These kind of property protection trusts work in a very limited number of circumstances. They are not the panacea to avoiding paying care fees for Mr and Mrs average who just don’t want to pay them.

It is a good job that you paid by credit card because it gives you an additional remedy.

Firstly, you have already asked for the money back and they will not refund hence, you can issue Small Claims Court proceedings against them under the provisions of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (which replaced the Supply of Goods and Services Act) in that they failed to carry out the job with reasonable care and skill, it is not fit for purpose, it is not of satisfactory quality, it is not as described.

Secondly, on all the grounds above, you can file a Consumer Credit Act section 75 claim with the credit card company with a view to getting a refund. Section 75 puts liability onto the credit card company for faulty goods and services along with the merchant.

With regard to the right to cancel, you don’t have the right to cancel in respect of a service if the service has already been provided as it has here.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please don’t forget to rate the service positive. It’s an important part of the process by which experts get paid. We can still exchange emails.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you. That's a very full and clear explanation. Just one thing, do I need to issue Small Claims proceedings before approaching the credit card company? And if I do, do I need to wait until a decision has been reached? Or should I put the credit card company of my intentions?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 4 months ago.

I would do the credit card company first because it’s free. The credit card company can unceremoniously reverse the transaction and take the money straight from the merchant’s account if the credit card company thinks you have a valid claim. If that fails and I can’t see why it should fail, you can still bring court proceedings in the Small Claims Court.

F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8445
Experience: I have been practising for 30 years.
F E Smith and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Great. Thanks so much for your help.

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