RIAs can be tipped off to possible abuse by observing relationships between elderly clients and their caretakers - whether individuals employed by the client or family members. Trouble may be afoot if the caregiver does not allow the client to speak freely, or is reluctant to allow the client to meet with you one-on-one - or if the client reveals any hint of fear of the caregiver. Also be leery of caregivers who are not responsible for the client’s financial affairs but show a keen interest in them.

RIAs are more likely to face a situation in which a client no longer appears fit to manage his or her financial affairs, but does not realize it. Perhaps the most fundamental indication that a client may need some support is “their inability to process information,” says Kevin Painter, managing partner of LeConte Wealth Management in Maryville, Tenn.

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