Universal Wealth Protection
Urgent Notice: Have you used Universal Wealth Protection or Universal Asset Protection?
The aging population, increase in life expectancy and rising cost of care has left many concerned about providing for their old age. Universal Wealth Preservation was an unregulated company which claimed that it could protect clients’ assets from expensive care home fees in later life. UWP ran a series of seminars, targeting older people and their families, claiming that by putting their life-savings and homes into a Trust, clients would be eligible for means-tested care while still retaining their assets in order to pass them on to their loved ones. They charged clients thousands of pounds for setting up trusts of which UWP Directors, Steve and Melanie Long, were professional trustees. In practice it is unlikely that this would have worked, as local authorities are able to challenge transfers of money made with the intention of avoiding care home fees.
The BBC Radio program Money Box highlighted the growing concerns regarding UWP. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b1hww2 UWP’s clients were left unable to access their savings or sell their own homes when UWP abruptly stopped responding to enquiries by phone or email. In some cases, payments to care facilities have stopped without prior notice. Suffolk police are investigating and have seized all documents which were held at the business premises. Universal Asset Protection (of which UWP is a part) went into compulsory liquidation in May 2018, the business premises of UWP having closed several months prior.
For many clients, the solution may be as simple as getting a solicitor to prepare a formal deed removing UWP as trustees and appointing someone else in their place. For others the issue will be more complex. Whatever the circumstances, if you or someone you know have had dealings with UWP, or a similar organisation, then it is imperative that you seek impartial legal advice from a reputable firm of solicitors.