To move or not to move… That is the question

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I love the billboards on the side of the highway that read, “Hey! Are you moving? Call us!”, and then the wonderfully warm and fuzzy names that come along with these priceless advertisements: My Sons Movers, My Four Sons and Mom, and a personal favorite, Hunky College Guys Movers.

I don’t need to feel warm and fuzzy about the name of the moving company I choose to go with. I want to be reassured that I will have a delightful moving experience and all of my items will be handled with care. Guess what? These homey names aren’t exactly indicative of a great moving experience to all age groups.

I represent a large portion of our population, seniors. Despite popular belief, we do move! Whether it be to warmer climates, or to be closer to family.

The moving industry is, unfortunately, another “perp” trap to ensnare my clients into fraud. Money paid upfront, extra money suddenly needed because there seem to be extra boxes conveniently “unaccounted for”.

Or how about this rip off: The movers show up with a small truck, and then say you will need a larger truck for the load. Meanwhile, your stuff is on the street. “Don’t worry!” They say, “We’ll get a bigger truck,” but it will cost more.

The key is what you do upfront, and here are my suggestions. First, forget the billboard showing a lovable logo or a wholesome family ready to move you. Start by getting recommendations from a lot of people. Also, try asking around your place of worship.

Once you get a few recommendations, vet them and check with the Better Business Bureau. Ask for copies of their insurance and pay a visit to their local office. Does it look like “rent-an-office” scattered with paper? Do you see employees working there? Is the office located in a place where you feel safe, or where you feel the need to be armed before you visit? Keep these things in mind.

Secondly, with regards to all that paperwork they want you to sign, don’t sign just yet! Have someone with business sense – and good eyesight – review it all first before you commit to anything. The print is generally so small, that a magnifying glass should be mandatory to bring along.

Finally, have them give you a quote upfront based on them going to your place and seeing your stuff. This is the number you are going to pay, and if they insist on half upfront, only use a credit card so that if there is a dispute, you can stop payment.

Using a moving company can be tricky! So, don’t get carried away by the slogan or the name. Because the only thing that will be moving is your hard-earned cash.

Take my advice for what it is… It’s just AS I SEE IT.

SOURCELeonard F. Baer
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Leonard F. Baer
Leonard Baer's practice focuses on Elder Law, and Estate Planning. His previous experience was in the area of complex criminal litigation, serving as Deputy Chief of the Major Crimes Division for The United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Florida. Mr. Baer was recognized by the Office of The Attorney General, as one of the top prosecutors in the country during his tenure. He has been included in North Carolina Top Rated Lawyers, a distinction awarded to those lawyers recognized by their colleagues as leaders in their field. He has also been recognized by the Florida Bar, for his efforts in representing seniors and their families, who are victims of scams and fraud. Mr. Baer is an AV rated lawyer listed in Martindale-Hubbell, and has been selected for inclusion in their Bar Registrar of Preeminent Lawyers, which for over 90 years, includes only those select law practices that have earned their highest rating. He has been designated by Martindale-Hubbell as preeminent in his field, and in the top 5% of all lawyers practicing in the United States. Mr. Baer has also been ranked by AVVO, an online Legal Directory of over 200,000 lawyers nationally, as Superb, their highest rating. He served as adjunct professor of Sports Law at The University of Miami, and is a frequent lecturer on the topics of Elder Law, Estate Planning, Asset Protection and Fraud Protection. He has been a columnist for several newspapers for over 13 years and currently has a nationally syndicated blog, “As I See It” with a readership of over 25,000. Leonard is a Guest Contributor of The Silver Life.

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