Are you a victim of the Universal Wealth scandal?

 

Universal Wealth an unregulated company owned and run by Steven Peter Long and his wife Melanie Long, targeted a pool of individuals within the age bracket of 60-80, convincing them to put their properties and savings into Universal Wealth Trusts to protect their estates from future care homes fees and inheritance tax – what they didn’t expect was a massive capital gains tax bill when it came to selling their properties!

We have been working with former clients of Universal Wealth to remove their properties from the trusts and take back what is theirs.

Many have been affected by this issue and most will be unaware until they sell their homes.

 

If you believe you or a member of your family have been a victim of Universal Wealth, contact us today.

How did they do it? They went national.

 

  1. They leafleted across the UK promoting a number of seminars which they hosted called ‘keep it in the family’.

  2. These seminars proposed that clients create wills, lasting powers of attorney and asset protection trusts.

What did they recommend?

Universal Wealth often recommended to clients that they be appointed as the trustees of the assets placed into trust together with the clients, meaning that these assets were, in the case of money, transferred into the control of the Trustees. This led to the registration of the Longs as Trustees of the property and the registration of an equivalent charge at the land registry.

The company director, Steve Long, was sent to prison at the end of 2018 for breaching court orders and failing to provide bank statements and failing to disclose his assets worldwide.

During Court proceedings, barrister Oliver Hyam told the court: “Large sums of money…cannot be located by the settlors or beneficiaries of a number of trusts. Overall, around £25 million is thought to be missing.”

What were the issues with the trust?

Normally, an exemption in law applied to main residences means that NO capital gains tax (CGT) is paid when a property is sold. However, the effect of the wording of the Universal Wealth charge (which was standard wording used across the board with these trusts), removed this exemption.

This means that, on sale, clients who put their properties into these trusts will be liable to pay CGT on the full value of their home (not just the increase since the home was first purchased). For clients who purchased their homes years ago and with property prices increasing, this creates a significant and unforeseen liability.

How can IDR Law help?

IDR Law have been working with former clients of Universal Wealth to remove their properties from the trusts and therefore remove any CGT liabilities.

IDR Law’s success with the first reported Universal Wealth case where a charge prepared by Universal Wealth was set aside by the Court has resulted in our firm representing a number of victims of the Universal Wealth scandal.

 

Following the initial success, we have now successfully seen two of these cases through, resulting in the desired outcome for both of our clients.

For each respective client, the outcome of our work has been such that the legal charge registered against our client’s properties has been set aside therefore negating the significant tax consequences that go hand in hand with these charges.

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If you believe you or a member of your family have been a victim of Universal Wealth, contact us today.

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