Millions of people serve as fiduciaries, someone who manages money or property for another person who is unable to do so. This responsibility provides caring assistance while also protecting the person from potential scams and fraud. Many older Americans experience declining capacity to handle finances, which can make them vulnerable. The main responsibilities of a fiduciary are to: (1) act in the person’s best interest, (2) manage money and property carefully, (3) keep money and property separate from own, and (4) maintain good records.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently published four guides to help financial caregivers, particularly those who handle the finances of older Americans. These guides are designed for those who serve as agents with power of attorney, a court-appointed guardian, a trustee or as a government fiduciary, such as a Social Security payee.
The guides will assist financial caregivers as they: (1) plan and implement their duties, (2) attempt to avoid scams and financial exploitation, and what to do if the person is a victim, and (3) require additional information; the guides tell where to go for help.
For additional information on a managing someone else’s money, go to:
- Have students talk to someone who manages money on behalf of someone else. Obtain information about the activities and concerns they have encountered.
- Prepare a list of actions that might be taken to avoid scams targeted at older consumers and other vulnerable audiences.
- What are situations that might require a person to manage the money of another person?
- What are examples of frauds and scams aimed at older consumers?
- How might a person avoid frauds and scams?