TITLE

The Ethical Dilemmas of Working with Clients with Intermittent Capacity

AUTHOR(S)
Addington, Laura L.
PUB. DATE
June 1998
SOURCE
Journal of Financial Planning;Jun98, Vol. 11 Issue 3, p94
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
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.
ACCESSION #
769243

 

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