You should research your attorney before contracting any services.
Things are not always what they appear.
Unsavory characters often pose a legitimate businesses to target their victims.
According to a recent ABA Journal article titled “Fake law firm website uses real lawyers' pictures to fleece consumers, bar lawsuit says,” the law firm Walsh and Padilla is fake and is actually run by scammers from South Africa.
The scammers set up a legitimate looking website.
The used the photos of real attorneys to sell their image.
They even had calls on the website forwarded to the voicemail of Jonathan Walsh.
Then they targeted the elderly in a scam.
They sent letter to seniors claiming the addressee was the beneficiary of a life insurance policy.
How were the scammers discovered?
A legitimate law firm called the Houston Bar Association to report the pictures of one of their partners being used on the website.
Another firm also received a call from Canada and learned the fake firm had duplicated their website.
The bar is now taking legal action to find the web server and shut down the website.
So, how do you find an "experienced" estate planning attorney?
First, ask around. Friends, family and other professional advisors are trustworthy sources.
Second, conduct an "organic" search on "Google" for "estate planning" near you (e.g., "Estate Planning Anytown MoKan").
Third, either way, verify! Check out the education, experience, ratings and client reviews of any attorney before you contact him or her.
In fact, I use both of these services to thoroughly vett attorneys before referring members of our "client" family for legal help in other areas of law or for matters in jurisdictions outside Kansas or Missouri.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: ABA Journal (June 26, 2017) “Fake law firm website uses real lawyers' pictures to fleece consumers, bar lawsuit says”