November 4, 2016

Tools for Financial Caregivers

Millions of Americans are managing money or property for a loved one who is unable to pay bills or make financial decisions.  This can be very overwhelming.  But, it’s also a great opportunity to help a loved one and protect them from scams and fraud. The CPBP Office for Older Americans has resources for financial caregivers.
1.  Managing Someone Else's Money Guides
A person named to manage money or property for someone else is called a fiduciary. The CFPB has created guides tailored to the needs of people in different fiduciary capacities: agents under a power of attorney, court-appointed guardians, trustees, and government fiduciaries (Social Security representative payees and VA fiduciaries).

Each guide contains information on the fiduciary’s responsibilities and tips on how to spot financial exploitation and avoid scams. Also, each guide includes a 'Where to go for help’ section with a listing of relevant agencies and service providers.

2.  State-specific guides
Because people’s powers and duties as a fiduciary vary from state to state, we also created state-specific Managing Someone Else’s Money guides. These state guides provide information about the state’s unique laws and practices, as well state-specific resources.  Currently, guides for Virginia and Florida are available, with four more state guides under development (Arizona, Georgia, Illinois and Oregon).

3.  Additional resources for older adults
If you are working with clients who are older Americans, the CPPB has other resources that you may find useful, such the Money Smart for Older Adults – Prevent Financial Exploitation curriculum and participant guide, a fact sheet on choosing a financial adviser, and a fact sheet on understanding reverse mortgages.

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