Online Safety: Planning for Diminished Capacity

By Becky Clapes, Guest Blogger

The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office for Older Americans recently released their number one piece of advice on preparing for your financial future. “Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.”

As a person’s capacity declines, so does his or her ability to mange money and financial assets. This “diminished capacity” makes individuals more susceptible to financial abuse and fraud.

Here are a few things you can do to protect yourself from financial abuse and fraud in preparation for the potential of diminished capacity.

  1. File and organize your financial documents. Keep them safe and organized and give copies to trusted friends or family.
  2. Keep a list of passwords, PINs, safe-deposit boxes, keys, and other important financial information.
  3. Have an emergency contact for your financial advisers. In case of an emergency, your financial advisers can contact this person if unable to contact you.
  4. Consider having a durable financial power of attorney. This person would have the legal power to make financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated.
  5. Keep all of your financial and personal information as up to date as possible.
  6. If something seems amiss, speak up!

For more information about planning for incapacity, follow this link.