Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Advisors As Guardians

Issues involving seniors and their guardians can sometimes present problems for financial advisors and their elderly clients.

“We are seeing financial exploitation of the elderly by court-appointed third-party guardians where there is little oversight,” said Debby Valdez, president of Guardianship Reform Advocates for the Disabled and Elderly in San Antonio.

The problem is exacerbated by a reported rise in guardianship cases. In a survey conducted by the Center for Elders and the Courts, 37% of judges, court managers and clerks who responded said guardianship filings have increased over the past three years.

Often it is a child or other relative who is appointed as a guardian when an elderly person can no longer manage his or her own financial affairs. However, 78% of abusers of the elderly are a spouse, child or another relative, and almost one in four victims is age 86 or older, according to a 2013 Department of Aging report. “When dementia comes into the picture, it further complicates the situation,” said Stephen Moses, president of the Center for Long-Term Care Reform in Seattle.

 “I can see the conflict of interest with the financial advisor when a guardian is appointed because they are managing a substantial amount of money and they are being crowded out by way of a third-party guardian,” Moses said.

Guardianship is a fiduciary relationship created by state law in which a court gives one person or entity the duty and power to make decisions for another person. Guardian duties can include arranging care for a person, as well as managing and investing her assets in her best interests, and using the income and principal to pay for her comfort.

Full Article & Source:
Advisors As Guardians


FIREFLY said...

Financial advisors should stick to their business and stay out of guardianship.

Kathleen said...

I do not hear of any professional guardians working in the best interest of the person. There is No accountability at all.