As Baby Boomers reach retirement (almost 10,000 turn 65 every day, according to smartasset.com), one of the largest generations is at risk of being targeted for financial abuse. Wealth managers are being granted further protective immunity when it comes to acting on behalf of their clients if diminished capacity is suspected. As a fiduciary for your clients, here are seven steps to take if you suspect wrongdoing:
1) Have your clients complete the Trusted Contact form. This gives you the authorization to contact someone in the unlikely event your client exhibits behavioral changes that appear to disregard or are contrary to previously stated decisions or goals.
2) Document suspicions concerning a client and immediately notify Dynamic CCO Cherie Jolly.
3) Cease making securities recommendations to the client, or investments in the account other than normal rebalancing and pre-authorized transactions, until the concern no longer exists.
4) Conduct a review of the client’s account, identifying any transactions or patterns that could indicate a problem.
5) Document and take detailed notes of meetings with the senior client or his/her trusted person previously known to the advisor.
6) Maintain frequent contact with the client to assess any new developments.
7) Take appropriate steps that may include restricting or limiting the account(s) at qualified custodian, contacting appropriate state agencies or authorities, contacting family members, etc.
“Financial professionals can provide a critical frontline role in identifying and reporting senior financial exploitation,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton.
For more information on how to protect seniors and the Senior Safe Act Fact Sheet, click here. For a list of all the states and specific requirements regarding Seniors and Vulnerable Investor Laws, click here.