In a previous blog post I explained our process for advising clients who may be exhibiting diminished capacity. Many clients have long-term relationships with our firm and as their trusted advisor, we are in a position to observe changes to their behavior that may compromise their financial security. This is why it is imperative that we educate ourselves to be in a position to protect clients from the pitfalls of financial exploitation, as well as other financial crimes.
What is a vulnerable client?
A vulnerable client is any client that is temporarily, or permanently susceptible to financial harm. While this may be those experiencing cognitive decline, that is not always the case. Other examples of vulnerable clients include those going through major life changes, such as marriage, divorce, death of a spouse or loved one, job-loss, or any other life-altering situation.
Identify, Protect, Report
We are trained to be able to identify financial vulnerabilities in our clients and report any exploitative activity we may observe. In a follow up piece, we will discuss some red flags to watch for. When considering reporting financial exploitation, we discuss observations and relevant documents among our team members before taking any action.
In a continuing effort to protect our clients from financial exploitation, our firm holds annual compliance training highlighting the financial risks faced by vulnerable clients in addition to being AARP BankSafe Certified.