fbpx

Call for a free consultation

  • Sheffield 0114 272 9184
  • Chesterfield 01246 229 393

News

Police investigate Steven and Melanie Long of Universal Wealth Management (Tax Planning)

Steven and Melanie Long, owners of Suffolk based Universal Tax Solutions, Universal Wealth Preservation, Universal Asset Protection Ltd. and Universal Trustees Ltd., are being investigated by Suffolk Police, following their apparently fraudulent handling of families’ wealth and assets.

Last updated on August 13th, 2019 at 08:54 am

universal wealth managementThe companies have been involved in drafting wills, trusts and lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) and administering estates for people; several of whom have now complained to the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEP) – from which Steven Long was suspended in 2017 – about various issues, including:

  • inability to contact the company (the Universal website has been taken down too)
  • worries about management of their trusts
  • delays in estate administration
  • delays in receiving payments from trusts
  • inability to find their assets and original documentation
  • LPAs that have not been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian

Apparently, Steven and Melanie promised people that by putting their money and assets into trusts, they would be protected from inheritance tax and expensive care home fees.  They were usually named as trustees, meaning that they had to be involved in any action taken on the trusts.  The couple’s companies have folded, leaving many people deeply concerned that they may have lost, not only their original documents, which were stored by the couple and some of which have been seized by police, but also their assets.

Universal Wealth Management

Graysons’ wills and estates specialist, Chris Shaw, says

“This is a very sad case that demonstrates how important is it that when planning for your family’s future the company you use should be properly regulated.  The will-writing and estate planning industry is not regulated, whereas solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.  The Society of Will Writers is a voluntary ‘self-regulatory’ organisation.  It is not a regulator. This means that if you use a solicitor to draft your will or LPA, or to help you administer an estate, you can be confident that the information you are given is accurate, there will be no mistakes and you are protected if something does go wrong.  Your documents will also be securely stored.”

If you have been affected by the actions of any of the Longs’ businesses, Step advises that you:

  • take independent legal advice and find out what your options are
  • check whether your LPAs have been registered with the Office for the Public Guardian (you can call 0300 456 0300)
  • make a new will as soon as possible if you don’t have the one that the Longs made for you
  • contact the Land Registry on 0300 006 0411 to find out in whose name your property is registered
  • consider making a report to Action Fraud– quote ‘operation ardent’ when reporting

You can also contact our wills and estates experts who will be able to discuss your case and advise what can be done.

Find out all about making a will and administering an estate on our web pages.

You have landed on this page as Watson Esam has merged with Graysons

You can read more about the merger here. Graysons will be pleased to help with your enquiry. Please visit our web pages or contact us directly on 0114 358 9009

X CLOSE

scroll to top