Elder Law Attorney Andrew H. Hook Says Diminished Capacity Can Affect Investments

Hook Law Center (formerly Oast & Hook)

Hook Law Center (formerly Oast & Hook)

Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) May 31, 2016 – Diminished capacity can have a detrimental effect on a person’s investments. A decline in an individual’s financial capacity means that a person can no longer manage their money and financial assets, and is unable to comprehend the ramifications of investment decisions. When people lose the ability to manage their finances, they may become susceptible to investment fraud and other types of financial abuse.

However, there are steps people can take to avoid or reduce the likelihood of problems for themselves and their families. For instance, they can organize important documents, and place them in a secure location that is easily accessible. Distribute duplicates to family members and loved ones who are trustworthy, or inform them of their location.

Andrew H. Hook, a prominent Virginia elder law attorney with Hook Law Center with offices in Virginia Beach and northern Suffolk, states, “When individuals lose capacity, and are no longer able to manage their finances, there should be safeguards in place that designate a trusted person to make financial decisions on their behalf.”

Compile a list of bank and brokerage accounts along with their account numbers. Maintain a separate list of passwords and PINs for online bank and brokerage accounts, and keep them in a safe place. Additionally, compile a list of where any safe deposit boxes are located along with the location of their keys. Furthermore, make sure that recent bank and brokerage statements are available, as well as information concerning ways in which to access such statements online.

Moreover, individuals should compile a list of debts and regular payments, along with account numbers and the names of the financial institutions that provided the loans and credit cards. Other significant documents include insurance policies, pension and other retirement benefit summaries, information regarding Social Security payments, and contact names and numbers for financial and medical professionals.

People should also provide their financial professionals with emergency contacts of persons they trust. In the event the investment adviser is unable to reach the accountholder, and suspects that there is a problem, the adviser can call the emergency contact. Also, they should have a discussion with the adviser about what constitutes an emergency, and state under which circumstances the adviser can communicate with the emergency contact.

As an added safeguard, think about establishing a durable financial power of attorney. While a financial power of attorney grants someone the legal authority to make financial decisions on behalf of another person if the person cannot make such decisions, a durable financial power of attorney remains effective in the event the person becomes incapacitated.

It might also be helpful for people to confide in a trusted friend, family member or adviser about the general state of their finances. For instance, they can request that their bank issue duplicate statements to their relative or adviser. It is important to keep the adviser apprised of any changes, such as a new account, or a new emergency contact. And in the event that there is any suspicion of fraud, do not be afraid to report it.

Learn more at http://www.hooklawcenter.com/

Hook Law Center
295 Bendix Road, Suite 170
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23452-1294
Phone: 757-399-7506
Fax: 757-397-1267

SUFFOLK
5806 Harbour View Blvd.
Suite 203
Suffolk VA 23435
Phone: 757-399-7506
Fax: 757-397-1267
http://www.hooklawcenter.com/

  • Learn what government benefits are available to help pay for long-term care
    There are a few government programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, that can help pay for long-term care services. Each program has certain regulations concerning which services are covered, your eligibility for benefits, the length of time you can receive benefits, and your out-of-pocket costs. In order to prepare for your long-term care needs, you should […]
  • How and why seniors should stay socially engaged
    Experts believe that in addition to engaging in regular exercise and eating well, social networking can contribute to the health of seniors. As you become advanced in age, changes that occur in the brain can make it challenging for you to absorb new information or recall things. In people who are afflicted with dementia, the […]
  • Learn the facts about passive index funds
    When making investment decisions, people often consider whether they should use an active or passive strategy. Passive investing attempts to duplicate the returns of the market as a whole. This strategy does not involve the selection of securities by a portfolio manager. Without a portfolio manager to track the way an index performs, the cost […]
  • What you should know if you inherit your parent’s home
    Many people will inherit the house in which their parents lived. Deciding what steps to take with respect to the house can cause you to confront some financial and emotional concerns, and matters can become even more complicated if you have siblings. You have the option to sell the house, move into the house or […]
  • How working after retirement affects Social Security
    There are people who wish to work when they have reached their 60s, 70s and beyond, but are concerned that their income will adversely affect their Social Security benefits. However, there is no cause for concern because according to the Social Security Administration (SSA), you do not run the risk of losing any Social Security […]