As our population continues to age, the prevalence of elder abuse increases. Before you think that you or a family member are too young to fit that definition, the SEC has defined an elder as anyone sixty years of age or older.
As you age, there are many ways you can protect yourself and your assets. One of the best defenses is to establish a Trusted Contact, a person you designate that can speak on your behalf and perform the following tasks:
- Confirm your current contact information
- Discuss your mental or physical health status
- Discuss activities or other possible red flags that might indicate you are being financially exploited
- Address other limited circumstances when permitted by law
You’ll want to keep in mind that Trusted Contacts act in a different capacity than a Power of Attorney (POA) or Durable POA. Trusted Contacts do not act on your behalf, cannot view account information, execute transactions, or inquire about account activity unless they are an authorized party. Having both a Trusted Contact and financial POA is important since statistics show that the majority of abusers are typically family members or people who are closest to the victim.
You can read more about protecting seniors in Soundmark Advisor Liz McQueen’s discussion on her own experience and the value of establishing a Trusted Contact. If you have questions about Trusted Contacts or concern for someone else, please don’t hesitate to contact our office – we’d be happy to help.