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Managing someone else’s money

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A friend at the office was just asked to serve as the guardian of her aunt’s property and help manage her finances. That started a conversation around the lunch table: It turns out that several of us know people who have signed papers making them responsible for helping a friend or family member manage their money or property — that is, who serve as fiduciaries. 

Fiduciary responsibilities depend on the needs and circumstances of the person you’re helping and on state law, but all fiduciaries have basic legal duties. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau describes the duties in a new series of publications. As a fiduciary:

  • you must act only in the best interests of the other person and make decisions that are best for him. You can’t let your needs and interests, or the needs and interests of other people, influence you. 
  • you must manage the person’s money and property carefully. You’ll be responsible for using the money to pay bills, rent or taxes, invest, and do what’s necessary for the person you’re helping.
  • you need to keep the other person’s money and property completely separate from your own. That means you can’t use joint bank accounts that combine your money and the other person’s.
  • you must keep good records of what you receive for the other person and what you spend. You may have to file a report with the court or government agency that named you as the fiduciary.

For more information about taking on fiduciary responsibilities, read the guides for fiduciaries.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


I agree totally with the outlines mention in the paragraphs. This is where a "court order" should take place and every penny spent must have a receipt. No matter the amount. I totally agree with the guidelines. Another part should be entered: "Is the person trustworthy to take care of this person care of finances and personal property". They should do a background check legal.

Just to confirm & add comment to wait4memz comment. My brother had designated his oldest son as his DPOA for his finances just before he went to prison. He felt he was trustworthy but then found out 6 yrs into his prison time, his son had embezzled half of his IRA & used his SS# to obtain credit & bank cards. Now since his son was sued, he refuses to turnover his dads SSC, birthCert, DL, employment & legal papers & military records & everything else. The judge has yet to make him give these items back (if he hasn't destroyed them). I have spent hours & days trying to obtain a credit report for my brother to prove the identity theft to no avail. My brother even subpoenaed Equifax for same but they never replied. I don't understand how his son was allowed to get several disbursements totaling over $70K fr brothers acct @ 5/3d BK, when I can't even get them to mail me stmts or update their info. On top of that I don't understand what good my being brothers DPOA when I cant even get any of his stolen IDs & papers replaced which would probably help with getting a credit report. I'm @ a loss totally7. I've been his DPOA for 18 mo's & all Ive been able to do is help him win his civil case. Now how can I get his soc.sec cd, birth cert, DL replaced as he cannot do while incarcerated.? Help!

Go to for help handling identity theft. When you file an online report, the system will create an Identity Theft Affidavit.

The website explains how to use the Affidavit to report theft to the police department and create an Identity Theft Report. When you have an Identity Theft Report, it guarantees you certain rights. This page explains your rights.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) takes complaints about credit reporting companies. The CFPB will send your complaint to the credit reporting company, and the company has 15 days to respond. Learn more on the CFPB complaint page.

Why not have a Photo-ID Fiduciary BankCard issued which will properly ID the responsible person, as well as having an account record of all expenditures, to be reconciled at the end of each month.

my father recently passed away my sister was his dpoa for years thru investigating i found my dad owned his own house and 6 vehicles after being told he had no assets only debt he also recently had 2 vehicles and his bank account added as a joint account with non relatives these people obtain full control in case of my fathers death definetly not in his bes interest my father couldnt read so it would have been easy to fraud him my sister refuse to give me cc statements my father cashed out his retirement in 2007 and i believe my sister has been defrauding my father ever since how do i retrieve paper regarding my fathers financial history and cc statements

My parents attorney that served ad"trustee" of the trusts never put together any trust. It was as scam to deceptively steal the assets. He also told us, the beneficiaries we owed "Notes" to the trust for five years. I found out slowly through checking the foles and just layetely he was also frauldulently altered deeds. he collected and money laundered and never paid taxes on either trust. NO EIN! Please contact me. The attorney and others stole an EXTREME amount of $$ from banks and financial institutions. I am scared! Batbara M . They would file suits to use the recorded dates in order to use them for forging altred docs. The title co. was hlpfil changing APN etc.. phone cell . Please call. Help!

If you want to report misconduct by a lawyer, you can contact your state bar association. You can also ask your state bar association for names of lawyers who might help you with the situation you described.

If you have trouble with a bank, you can file a complaint online with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) or call the CFPB at 855-411-2372.

thanks for sharing this blog. i really enjoyed it.

Its really useful information.thanks

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