Partner Bianca La Neve participated in the Virtual Ethics Panel on November 19 during Financial Planning Week 2020. The discussion focused on vulnerable clients and identifying situations of financial abuse and the role of professional financial planners in protecting their clients from such abuse.
The session is discussed in the article, “How to avoid abuse by PoAs for property” by Michelle Shriver in Investment Executive.
The Power of Attorney (PoA) for property is a fiduciary whose powers and duties must be exercised and performed diligently, with honesty and good faith, in the interests of the grantor, Bianca described.
The panelists discussed PoAs for property in the context of potential abuse: a family member or other person claims they have power of attorney for the client and requests a transaction that runs counter to what the client would typically want.
If the client is capable and financial abuse is suspected, “it is important to speak with your client directly to confirm wishes and goals,” Bianca advised financial planners. Also, “Always follow in-house procedures and verify … a power of attorney document.”
Bianca also suggested asking clients how many PoA for property documents they have, so financial planners know which ones apply in which situations.