Managing Someone Else’s Money: Guides to Taking Care of Older Americans

By Christopher Pugh, Fall 2015 Intern

With Americans living longer than ever before, many people find themselves with the responsibility of managing the money of an elder family member at some point in their lives. Since most people have never been in this position before the need arises, it can often seem like a stressful and daunting responsibility. While there is no replacement for the sound legal advice of a lawyer in these matters, it is helpful to be as informed as possible. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Office for Older Americans provides free online publications that can help you understand what a fiduciary agent is and what duties they owe.

The new CFPB series, Managing Someone Else’s Money, provides publications to educate Guardians of Property and Conservators, agents under a Power of Attorney and Trustees under a Revocable Living Trust. Each publication describes what a fiduciary is and the individual duties owed under each type of agency. The publications also include frequently asked questions, tips on how to watch out for financial exploitation, and other places you can go for help or more information.

The CFPB worked closely with the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging to develop these publications, but they are intended as informational guides, not legal advice.

For more information on how you can protect seniors from financial exploitation, visit the SEC’s Investor.gov website or the CFPB’s Office for Older Americans website.