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New Guides Help Those Appointed to Manage Someone Else's Money
- January 28th, 2014
Have you been officially asked to manage someone else's money? For example, have you been named as an agent under a power of attorney or appointed trustee of a trust? As our society ages, more and more people are being asked to take on these roles, but they come with both powers and responsibilities, and problems can arise.
If you're not a lawyer (and even if you are), the responsibilities of these positions can seem daunting. Luckily, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – the only federal office dedicated to the financial health of Americans age 62 and over -- recently released four guides for people who have been given the responsibility of managing money or property for someone else. The guides, which are free, are collectively called “Managing Someone Else's Money.”
Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA
Felinton Elder Law & Estate Planning Centers
Mindy Felinton concentrates in the areas of Medicaid planning, Veterans' Benefits, asset protection, nursing home planning, elder law, wills, estate planning, trusts, living wills, powers of attorney, probate administration and trust administration and began her legal career 30 years ago as an Assistant State Attorney...
Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC
Susan Pollack served as Chairperson of the Falls Church Senior Citizens Commission from 1997 to 2011 and was on the Executive Board of the Falls Church Education Foundation. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Alzheimer’s Association of the National Capital Area and is a member of the Arlington B...
Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC
Judith Mtinick is well known for acting as a guardian, conservator, trustee or agent on behalf of clients or by court appointment. This experience gives her a wide perspective and extensive practical knowledge that she uses when advising clients in drafting their planning documents. Her experience, as a court appointed...
The Managing Someone Else's Money guides are designed to help non-lawyers; they walk you through your new responsibilities, teach you how to protect the person in your care from financial exploitation, and give you links to additional resources. For example, the guides tell you, the agent, what to do to avoid problems with family and friends who think you are doing a bad job. The guides also help you coordinate with other agents who may have been assigned to work with you and any outside professionals whose help you may need (such as lawyers, brokers, and financial planners).
The guides include help for agents under a power of attorney, court-appointed guardians of property and conservators, trustees under a revocable living trust, and representative payees and VA fiduciaries (a person who manages someone else's government benefit checks). All four types of agents are fiduciaries, which means they owe four special duties to the people for whom they are managing money or resources: the duty to act in the individual’s best interest, the duty to manage the individual’s money and property carefully, the duty to keep the individual’s money and property separate from their own, and the duty to keep good records. Every guide includes detailed information about these four duties.
If you have been assigned to be an agent for someone, that assignment should come with a document (power of attorney, trust document, court order, etc.) that will tell you what you can and cannot do. It is important to stay within the limits that document sets for you. These four guides, which were developed for the Bureau by the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging, are not a substitute for legal counsel, but they can help keep you on the straight and narrow.
To download one or more of the guides, go to: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/blog/managing-someone-elses-money/
Last Modified: 01/28/2014