The Ethical Dilemmas of Working with Clients with Intermittent Capacity

Addington, Laura L.
June 1998
Journal of Financial Planning;Jun98, Vol. 11 Issue 3, p94
Academic Journal
This article provides information on steps that financial planners can take to lessen the effects of working with clients with intermittent capacity. Unfortunately, one approach to the ethical dilemmas of intermittent capacity is to choose not to work with older clients. A client should be more than just an account. Knowing one's clients, their values and goals, should be the commitment. Many times, usually for the sake of convenience, a client will not have to provide written authorization for transactions. By having a visual or audio record of the meeting, a financial planner eliminates the possibility for misunderstandings. It may be feasible to include an observer in a meeting, again only with the prior permission of a client. Financial planners often have close, long-term relationships with their clients. As a result, a financial planner may be one of the first people to notice when this individual begins to experience intermittent capacity. The client may begin to make financial decisions that are inconsistent with their lifetime goals and values, presenting a serious dilemma for the financial planner. Such a situation can present serious legal and ethical challenges for the planner, since acting legally does not always mean the same as following a higher moral code or even meeting a specific code of ethics. The planner may want to protect the client even though such protective action or inaction can place the planner at great risk. In the end, the financial planner must recognize that in dealing with a client experiencing intermittent capacity, there can be long-term consequences that will affect the lives of the planner and the client.


Related Articles

  • Will new advice strategies work? Cicutti, Nic // Money Marketing;11/8/2012, p36 

    The author comments on the debate over financial advice and how it should be delivered to clients in Great Britain. He considers the question of whether there really is a need to develop a new model of financial adviser in the country. He describes a case wherein the independent financial...

  • Going Above and Beyond. Silver, Larry // On Wall Street;Jan2007, Vol. 17 Issue 1, p75 

    The author discusses the service which financial advisors should offer in order for clients to stay with them. He stresses that advisors must make clients dependable to them through their services and strategies. He offers tips to help financial managers focus on the works they need to do....

  • A Bucket of Joy. McNeely, Juli // Advisor Today;Nov2008, Vol. 103 Issue 11, p72 

    The article discusses the importance of knowing the financial goals of the clients to fully serve their needs. Since the role of financial advisors is to protect their clients, the author suggests that they have to find facts about their clients' finances. These financial facts would serve as...

  • The Planner as Parent. Horwitz, Michael B. // Financial Planning;Mar2004, Vol. 34 Issue 3, p81 

    Deals with the role financial planners enact when managing their clients. Instances when planners carefully guide their clients; Course of action taken by planners when their clients make bad decisions.

  • Marketing Tips for 2006. DeCarolis, Melanie // Financial Planning;Jan2006, Vol. 36 Issue 1, p26 

    The article offers marketing tips for financial planners for 2006. These include creating a marketing game plan to stay consistent, reaching out to clients in times of market uncertainty and checking if the marketing plan is in compliance with regulations.

  • Profit from the Total Picture. Roberts, Tom // Accounting Today;Oct2008 CPA Wealth Provider, Vol. 22, p22 

    The article offers information on the need of a holistic view of a client's assets to provide the best financial advice in the economic climate of 2008. Focus is given to the use of aggregation services to achieve better asset performance and client satisfaction. Topics discussed include...

  • Learning a lesson. Derham, Paul; Bailey, Sonnie // Money Management;4/26/2012, Vol. 26 Issue 15, p18 

    The article offers tips for financial planners on how to avoid pitfalls and save time as well as money. As suggested, financial planners should customize their advice to their clients. Tailored advice establishes the client's needs and objectives, says the author. In the event of a dispute, it...

  • Get busy! Mueller, Van // Senior Market Advisor;Apr2013, Vol. 14 Issue 4, p72 

    In this article, the author provides suggestions on how to achieve success in the financial planning business by having several appointments. He presents the common excuses of agents about why they do not see more people and have many appointments. He also gives recommendations on how to become...

  • Build, buy or borrow. NAPOLITANO, JOHN P. // Accounting Today;Apr2013, Vol. 27 Issue 4, p20 

    The article talks about financial planning practice models that may work better than others, depending on the way a firm is set up. An example is the comprehensive model which works best if a firms goals include maintaining control over the client relationships. It describes the service model...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics