If you are seeking the advice of a senior advisor, you probably have a lot of questions however there is one question you should always ask first; Are you a fiduciary?
A fiduciary is a person or organization that acts on behalf of another person. While often associated with finance there are several other roles that a fiduciary may fulfill. Money managers, financial advisors, trustees, accountants, executors, board members, corporate officers and Certified Senior Advisors (CSA) all have fiduciary responsibility. Acting in a fiduciary capacity requires that the person put the needs of their client ahead of all other considerations. This is the highest legal duty of one person to another, being a fiduciary requires being bound ethically to act in the other's best interests.
There is no shortage of companies that aim to serve the needs of our aging population and it can be difficult to know who to trust. Fiduciaries must make sure their recommendations are based on complete and accurate information. Medical needs, legal issues, financial circumstances and social factors can be difficult to talk about but are all things a senior advisor should consider when making a recommendation. By working with a fiduciary, you can be confident that they will be sensitive to these topics and will act in your best interest.
It is important to remember that different types of advisors may be held to different ethical standards when offering advice. Only a fiduciary is required to act in your best interest at all times and not their own. A breach of fiduciary duty can result in disciplinary actions including the loss of the advisor’s credentials. So, when seeking out an advisor don’t forget to ask, Are you a Fiduciary?
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Ty Strahl is the areas leading senior adviser. Her job is to help you navigate the many aspects of aging and to help seniors who are in transition to find the right solutions for their individual needs.