With an increasingly aging population, issues around providing services, including financial advice to seniors, are becoming more important. While attention is often focused on funding retirement and wealth transfer to the next generation, susceptibility to fraud often goes unnoticed.
The Government of Canada describes fraud as being the number one crime against seniors . As we age, issues around social isolation and cognitive decline become top of mind but are often difficult conversations to have. In a previous article, we discussed financial abuse and how to avoid becoming a victim. However, it’s important to keep in mind that many individuals will not realize, nor want to believe that they are being abused. That’s why a trusted contact person is extremely helpful in these situations.
A Trusted Contact Person is just how it sounds – a person you trust for your financial advisor to contact if they fear you are experiencing financial abuse or exploitation or, more generally, if poor financial decisions are being made that are out of character. This contact person does not replace your attorney under a Power of Attorney, nor do they have control over, or access to, your finances. They are simply a “second set of eyes” to ensure that you are properly protected as you age.
Your IG Consultant is often in the best position to assess your current financial situation, and any issues or changes that may arise over time. Naming a Trusted Contact Person allows them to best respond to any unforeseen issues that may arise and ensure that your finances are further protected from people that might wish to do you harm. Having said that, reaching out to a Trusted Contact Person would only be used as a last resort in case of emergency, and is a decision that would only be made after consulting with IG’s Compliance department.
The best time to name a Trusted Contact Person is when you first open an account with IG Wealth Management. The second-best time is today. Give yourself peace of mind that you are properly protected against fraud by discussing your Trusted Contact Person with your IG Consultant and ensure all your contact information is up-to-date and accurate.