Expecting the Unexpected: The Importance of Authorizing Information Sharing

We know you have worked hard and prepared well with every expectation you will be able to enjoy a long and comfortable retirement. As your advisors, we plan for this accordingly when we design your financial plan and investment portfolio to support you throughout this next phase of your life.

That we all age is a fact not in dispute. For some of us, however, we may become physically frail or experience cognitive decline sooner than expected. Estimates by the National Center on Elder Abuse are as many as 50% of people will experience some form of cognitive decline after age 85. The loss of physical or cognitive ability could make it more difficult for you to manage your normal financial affairs and also leave you more exposed to abuse or neglect.

At Private Ocean, we are not trained medical professionals, and yet our relationship with you often gives us a unique perspective into your life. If we were to observe some question of client capacity or elder abuse, we would be naturally concerned for you and your needs.

As an initial step to prepare for these unforeseen circumstances, we ask all clients to provide us with their most up-to-date estate planning documents, including wills, living wills, trust agreements, durable powers of attorney for financial matters and durable powers of attorney for health care. For many clients, their spouse and/or children will be well aware of any ongoing difficulties and have powers to act on your behalf.

In other cases, however, there may not be close relatives nearby. There may be a transitional period when the loss of cognitive or physical ability has occurred and when the powers of attorney are not yet legally effective. Some powers of attorney require intervention of a court or diagnosis by a physician.

Strict privacy rules prevent our disclosing the possibility of cognitive decline or abuse to your family members or other professionals. As a result, we must balance our concerns about any potential incapacity with your legal right to confidentiality and privacy.

To address these concerns, Private Ocean has developed an Authorization to Contact and Share Information for your review and consideration. Our process would be to first share our concerns directly with you. If this effort does not reach a successful outcome, this Authorization would allow us to contact a family member or other designated individual to elevate our concerns to their attention.

Most of us would rather not discuss this difficult topic. Yet, Private Ocean is committed to being your fiduciary if you as a client might be showing signs of declining cognitive ability or possible abuse. Please contact your advisor if you have questions or concerns.

To download the form, click here. Once completed, you can return to us to keep in your records.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results.  Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the  future  performance  of  any  specific  investment,  investment  strategy,  or  product (including  the  investments  and/or  investment  strategies  recommended  or  undertaken by Private Ocean,  LLC [“Private  Ocean”]),  or  any  non-investment  related  content,  made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated  historical  performance  level(s),  be  suitable  for  your  portfolio  or  individual situation,  or  prove  successful.    Due  to  various  factors,  including  changing  market conditions  and/or  applicable  laws,  the  content  may  no  longer  be  reflective  of  current opinions  or  positions.    Moreover,  you  should  not  assume  that  any  discussion  or information  contained  in  this  blog  serves  as  the  receipt  of,  or  as  a  substitute  for, personalized investment advice from Private Ocean.  Please remember that if you are a Private Ocean client, it remains your responsibility to advise Private Ocean, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/ evaluating/ revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or  if  you  would  like  to  impose,  add,  or  to  modify  any  reasonable  restrictions  to  our investment advisory services. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any  specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. Private Ocean is  neither  a  law  firm  nor  a  certified  public  accounting  firm  and  no  portion  of  the  blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the Private Ocean’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for  review  upon  requestor  at www.privateocean.com. Please  Note: Private  Ocean does not  make  any representations  or  warranties  as  to  the  accuracy,  timeliness,  suitability, completeness,  or  relevance  of  any  information  prepared  by  any  unaffiliated  third  party, whether  linked  to Private  Ocean’s web  site  or blog  or  incorporated  herein,  and  takes  no responsibility   for   any   such   content. All   such   information   is   provided   solely   for convenience  purposes  only  and  all  users  thereof  should  be  guided  accordingly. Please Also  Note: If  you  are  a Private  Ocean client, Please  advise  us if  you  have  not  been receiving account statements (at least quarterly) from the account custodian.

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