Posted Oct 14, 2009 08:36 pm CDT
The Ohio Supreme Court has fined two “trust mill” companies $6.4 million for the unauthorized practice of law and banned them from doing business in the state.
Its ruling this morning imposed $6,387,990 in penalties against American Family Prepaid Legal Corporation; Heritage Marketing and Insurance Services Inc.; and co-owners Jeffrey and Stanley Norman, according to the Associated Press and the Columbus Dispatch.
The case, which was pursued by the Columbus Bar Association, concerned telemarketing and in-person sales calls that persuaded elderly residents of the state to obtain $1,995 living trusts instead of preparing wills.
Although the payment purportedly included an array of legal services, the court says in its written opinion, “almost exclusively … the only legal service that the plan members received was the preparation of a living-trust document and related estate-planning instruments such as powers of attorney and a living will.”