So many professionals we talk to are worried about aging clients, those in their 80’s, 90’s and older. And for good reason. Mikol’s mother is now 92 and she lives independently. She is not exactly a sophisticated investor or consumer. She is very sharp mentally, but that does not mean she could not be manipulated. She has already been taken advantage of by one financial advisor. He got caught though. By us. We took a quick video of Alice, and without naming any names, you can see what she has to say about what the investment this advisor put her into. Click on image to see Video.
We have a very special advantage with Alice. She is willing to let us watch over her investments and her day to day financial life. Not only is she open to receiving this support, she generally welcomes it. That is not an advantage every family has. But even if your aging client or loved one is less than willing to allow those in their lives who can protect them from harm to discuss their financial business, they may be willing to make at least one concession. We recommend that you try for this, suggest it to all the aging folks in your world and take one small step in the direction of their protection.
That concession is that the older person allow a trusted other to have online access to his or her bank and financial institution accounts. This does not have to include the power to do any transaction on those accounts. It is merely for the sake of monitoring them.
The “selling point” is that the person who has access can’t change anything concerning the account of the aging person. That would take a special password and permission. The aging person can withhold such. The online account can be set up so that no one but the elder, at least to start with, can buy, sell, withdraw or deposit any money. The advantage is obvious: if your elder is doing anything unusual, or appears to be under the influence of anyone who wants to manipulate, you’ll see the odd activity right away in the account.
Not every elder does online banking, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t set up an online account so monitoring can take place. The elder doesn’t have to use it. Even if he never touches a computer, someone can watch over what is going on. It’s just one method of protecting our aging clients from possible abuse.
That’s our quick tip for the day from AgingInvestor.com. We share your concerns about financial abuse and we urge everyone in our little community here to take positive steps to protect aging folks from abuse. This is a “do something now” kind of place.
If you’re puzzling over your own client or loved one, get expert advice from us at AgingInvestor.com right away. We want our years of experience in aging and our passion to protect elders to count. You can quickly increase your confidence about diminished capacity with one of our accredited one-hour courses.
Carolyn Rosenblatt, R.N., Elder Law Attorney & Dr. Mikol Davis, Gerontologist, co-founders of AgingInvestor.com