Presentation: When capacity is in question

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To make it easier for you to prepare meeting materials, we’ve developed these slides on how to help a client when capacity is in question. The presentation is in a Word file to make it simpler to customize the content to your client’s needs.

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Presentation: When capacity is in question


For a parent or loved one, an unexpected decline in mental or physical capacity could throw her entire financial plan into chaos, unless your family is prepared.

As an advisor, I must honour client confidentiality and privacy rules. And this doesn’t change when someone’s completely incapacitated. If your loved one doesn’t plan ahead, all of his or her accounts will be inaccessible.

Here’s how to plan, and what to expect, if your loved one becomes incapacitated.


An advisor’s role

Even if a client’s judgment appears to be failing, as an advisor, I still have to obtain his or her signature before making portfolio changes.

And though your loved one might need extra support, I can’t disclose her financial details to family members if she hasn’t:

  • added that family member to her account;
  • signed a release to give information to a family member in case of incapacity; or
  • appointed someone as financial power of attorney (PoA).


When clients are able to communicate

If someone hasn’t been declared legally incapacitated, an advisor can ask who he’d appoint joint tenant with rights to survivorship on current accounts, as executor, and as PoA for financial and personal care.

Clients should give me the contact details, birthdays and occupations of the people who will help manage money. I’ll have them sign that document, and also have it signed by a witness.

Courtesy of © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. These materials are for reference and guidelines only. You are responsible for the advice you give your clients.