Learn About the New “Trusted Contact Person” Role

Sadly, elder abuse is a reality for too many Canadian seniors. When the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly studied this issue in 2015, it found that about one in 12 Canadian residents age 55 and older (8.2 percent) had experienced elder abuse in the previous year.

For 30 percent of those people (or 2.6 percent of all those over 55), the abuse was financial. That translates into 244,176 Canadians fending off demands for their money, fighting to access their money and sometimes losing their money.

Responding to worrying statistics like this, the Canadian Securities Administrators (the umbrella organization representing all of Canada’s provincial and territorial securities regulators) recently proposed that advisors ask their clients for the name of a “trusted contact person” (TCP) they can get in touch with if they have concerns about a client’s financial exploitation or diminished mental capacity.

To benefit from this additional safety net, consider connecting your advisor to a close friend, family member or caregiver who can act as your trusted contact person to ensure your best interests come first.

It’s important to understand that the TCP is not the same as a power of attorney (POA) – another person your advisor should have on record. A POA has the authority to make financial decisions on your behalf under certain circumstances, such as if you become incapacitated.

In contrast, your TCP should have absolutely no interest or involvement in making financial decisions for you. In fact, the TCP is someone an advisor can reach out to if he or she feels a POA isn’t acting appropriately.

The trusted contact person is a new initiative by Canada’s securities regulators, and we are working closely with them towards implementing this additional safeguard for our clients into our practice.

Naming a TCP is a way you can provide an additional safeguard for your money and your well-being. It’s also an important part of good financial planning.

We encourage you to help spread awarness of this new option to your loved ones and others who could also benefit from another layer of protection.

If you have any questions about the new TCP role, send us an email and we would be pleased to help.