Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson is suing Minnesota-based Heritage Partners for consumer fraud and deceptive trade practices.
Calling Heritage Partners a “living-trust mill,” Swanson claims the company lured seniors with free steak dinners at nice restaurants and then fed them deceptive estate-management and insurance sales pitches. She claims Heritage promised clients an experienced estate-planning attorney would prepare their legal documents, but instead hired Dennis Lawrence to assemble boilerplate documents that didn’t suit individuals’ situations. Under Minnesota law, only members of the Minnesota bar are allowed to prepare wills and trusts. Lawrence is an Arizona man who’s not licensed as a lawyer in either Minnesota or Arizona. Heritage made about $2,300 each on about 500 Minnesota households.
See Debra O’Connor, Minnesota AG Sues Estate Planning Service, Alleging Fraud, TwinCities.com, Feb. 3, 2014.