Question of the Day: "What is elder financial abuse, and don’t stockbrokers, insurance salespersons, and bank officials have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients, including their elderly clients?"

Answer:  Elder financial abuse is any practice or conduct that misuses, takes or conceals a vulnerable elder’s funds, property or assets. Elder financial abuse includes any type of investment fraud that uses misrepresentation, deception, trickery, false pretence, or dishonest act to the financial detriment of a senior.

A fiduciary duty is an affirmation obligation imposed on one person to act in the best interest of another person.  Whether or not a fiduciary duty is owed to an elderly client depends on the law of the state where the senior resides. In some states like Georgia, stockbrokers owe fiduciary obligations to their clients but insurance agents and bank officials normally do not. Nonetheless, this does not give an insurance agent or bank official a license to defraud a senior out of his or her money or property and the agent or official can still be sued by the senior for fraud.

Let me know if I can be of further assistance to you.

J. Michael Bishop, JD
Smiley Bishop & Porter, LLP
Atlanta, GA  30338
Member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance

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