Managing someone else’s money

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

Comments

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 identitytheft.gov 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.

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