In our blog series on elder abuse (“Elder Abuse: Avenues of Attack”) we brought to light the issue of elder abuse and how it can affect a Financial Advisor’s practice. In our second installment (“How to Protect Your Clients and Your Business Against Elder Abuse”) we mentioned some strategies of protection, briefly mentioning the Senior$afe Act. This bill, if passed by congress, can hugely help to protect advisors, so here are the things you need to know.
Act at a glance...
Initially proposed in October of 2015, the Senior$afe Act of 2015 (S.2216), was just recently reintroduced to Congress by Senator Susan M. Collins, who is spearheading the bill.
The act’s summary states that an advisor;
“…who has received training regarding the identification and reporting of the suspected exploitation of a senior citizen (at least 65 years old) shall not be liable for disclosing such exploitation to a covered agency if such individual made the disclosure in good faith and with reasonable care…”
What does this mean?
Essentially the bill is fashioned around the idea that as long as Financial Advisors have proper training and can identify suspicious activity, the red flags of elder abuse, showing of diminished capacity, or signs of exploitations, then the advisor will be immune from liability.
Under the parameters of the bill, anyone is who considered to “come in contact with a senior citizen” regularly as part of their job or anyone who “may review or approve the financial documents, records, or transactions of a senior citizen” can be protected if properly trained.
With those parameters, it’s obvious that this act will directly affect Financial Advisors so it’s important that we educate ourselves and make these practices a regular part of our business.
As we mentioned in our this blog series, if a client is subject to an elder abuse scam or vulnerable to diminished capacity, you and your business are vulnerable as well. By taking proactive steps to ensure liability does not fall on you, you’re taking a huge step to control the sustainability of your business.
We hope the Senior$afe Act will be extremely effective in helping to prevent financial exploitation of our senior citizens and work to protect Financial Advisors who abide by the parameters of this bill and ethics in general. As we learn more about the bill and the training needed to adhere to the Senior$afe Act, we will bring more information to this blog.