How consultants can protect clients with dementia

How consultants can protect clients with dementia
How consultants can protect clients with dementia

It is an issue that, sadly, is seen to be more acute. As the child gets older to the largest generation of older people in Canadian history, so the number of age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer's, increases.

Consultants are often on the front line when they notice changes in client behavior due to neurodegenerative diseases that affect decision making and the ability to understand money.

There is also a risk that clients will become financial abuse targets, and care is also being taken more carefully, particularly for the so-called sandwich generation.

With over 747,000 Canadians now living with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, May and June marks the start of the IG Property Management Walk for Alzheimer's.

Christine Van Cauwenberghe, Vice President, tax and estate planning at Ialth Wealth Management, said that people under pressure may have significant assets, complex and multiple assets, often associated with competing interests and those who put pressure on them. make certain decisions.

She told WP that the counselor is very involved in doing everything you want to manage symptoms.

“The first question is how to deal with the client themselves. Few people want to admit that they are struggling and are worried that they will be discarded as soon as they tell the consultant that they have dementia or that they no longer have control over their affairs. ”

This is difficult because people usually have a gradual decline. Therefore, it is down to the adviser to ask them if they are ok and put them at ease. Van Cauwenberghe said that it is the counselor who is adapting it and being able to change the way they serve the client.

She explained: “For example, do you need to move investments in something more conservative or more consolidated? Perhaps this is the time when a consultant would meet with a client in their own home or in an environment they are comfortable with or familiar with?

“Is there a better time to come together? For example, if a client is taking medication in the morning and feeling that he is roaring, they may make better decisions in the afternoon when they are feeling better.

“If the client does not want to acknowledge that there is a problem, each client should plan for the future and ensure that there is a plan in place when they can make decisions. Do they have a power of attorney? If not, can we ensure that a plan is in place when they cannot make decisions? Can we get permission to call certain family members in an emergency? ”

She added that there is one strategy for a transitional period when the client is able to rule out gradually over time rather than once. It may be a good time to introduce a family member to them and if something drastic happens, at least the counselor will know who to contact.

It is very important to make good notes, she said, so that you can write down how decision making is reducing. Signs of repetition if the client repeats things, if they are withdrawing large amounts without reasonable explanation or, on the other hand, if they start to bring money into their bank account. “The counselor must then decide that it is time to call a member of the family.”

If the consultant firm is supportive, talking to the head office or someone who can bounce ideas can help them decide on the client's situation. Van Cauwenberghe said: “IG has an e-mail box for vulnerable people and vulnerable people who are intended to contact them when they are concerned about the health of financial abuse.

“If you are talking to a person from the head office or to a performance, it is likely that this is seen far more than any particular person so that they know what is suspicious and what is not. Always try to get a second opinion from someone in your more experienced office.

“It's not necessarily black and white. It is something a consultant must do to say a judgment and say, I don't feel more comfortable taking instructions from this person. ”

The seriousness of the problem is also recognized by Canadian Securities Administrators (CSAs) and on Friday they published a notice indicating recommended practices that registered firms can consider when dealing with older or vulnerable clients.

“We heard that registrars are seeking guidance on how to address the changing issues and needs of older or vulnerable clients,” said Louis Morisset, chairman and president of the CSA and chief executive officer of finance of Autorité des marchés.

“Registered could be one of the first people to recognize the challenges faced by older or vulnerable clients, including potential financial exploitation or reduced mental capacity. This announcement outlines the recommended practices that businesses and representatives can use to address the individual needs of their clients with the objective of protecting them from potential financial harm. ”

The notice includes suggestions as to how registrants can identify and respond to cases of financial exploitation and reduced mental capacity. It also reminds firms of your client's obligations and suitability, and discusses specific practices that they can consider when assessing their policies and procedures in areas such as: account supervision; complaint handling; handling of powers of attorney and limited trade authorizations; communicate with older or vulnerable clients; reporting and increasing issues; and identify reliable contact people.

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