The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today released a series of guides, “Managing Other People’s Money,” for caregivers and fiduciaries spanning family members and friends who manage money for their older parents, friends or relatives.
The four booklets are geared toward people who serve different roles from power of attorney to court-appointed guardian, trustees, and those appointed by a government agency to manage certain types of finances, such as Social Security payments.
The guides are geared toward fiduciaries, for which millions of Americans take responsibility currently.
“You have millions and millions of laypeople out there acting as fiduciaries for family and friends,” said Naomi Karp, policy advisor for the CFPB. “About 85% are family members, not any kind of professional.”
The fiduciary duties outlined in the guides hinge on several principles: acting in the person’s best interest; managing money and property carefully; keeping money and property separate from their own; and maintaining good records.
The CFPB cited data indicating there are 22 million people age 60 and over who currently have a power of attorney, with another 1.5 million to 3 million who have guardians.
The guides will be accessible through the CFPB, are available online, and will also be distributed by agencies including AARP, with the rollout being timed with the holiday season.
“We want to lead into the upcoming holiday season, we will be distributing the guides and we think Thanksgiving may be a good time to talk about these issues,” CFPB officials said. “The guides are a great way to start a conversation.”
Written by Elizabeth Ecker