Sunday, May 24, 2009

Financial planners can be put in a bind if they suspect a client has dementia

Jane Bryant Quinn has a column on the Business Page, G1, of The Washington Post today, “Families, Finance and Dementia.” The article points out that brokers and financial planners should recognized that Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are rapidly increasing as a public health problem, and that planners need to be alert for irrational or suspicious financial transactions. One problem occurs if the elderly person make a totally irrational decision; another is if a relative with a power of attorney makes a request make a request that suggests abuse.

The article mentions the trial of Anthony Marshall, the only child of Brooke Astor, who has pleaded not guilty on charges of manipulating his mother, demented before her death at 105, to changing her will.

Relatives who whole a Power of Attorney may, in some states, have the capability to cause abuse that may be hard to monitor. The article mentions a proposed Uniform Power of Attorney Act of 2006, adopted so far only by Colorado, Idaho and New Mexico, but likely to pass soon in Maine, Ohio and Wisconsin. The link is here.

The article mentions that the Financial Planning Association in Denver held a forum May 23, “You Think Your Client Has Dementia: Now What.”

The Quinn article is here. Check out the last sentence; it's pretty abrasive.

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