A guardian, whether publicly funded or privately appointed, has a legal obligation to act in the best interest of a protected individual. Guardians often are granted extensive access and control of a protected individual’s assets. Financial abuse or exploitation by guardians could occur if the guardian improperly uses the protected individual’s funds, securities, property, or other assets.
“A trusted guardian can be a wonderful resource. But some guardians may take advantage of the people or assets in their care,” Securities Commissioner Tung Chan said. “Taking the time to understand the warning signs of guardian financial abuse and the steps that can be taken to report such abuse are key to helping those who cannot help themselves.”
The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), of which the Division is a member, has developed resources to help call attention to the red flags of fraud and suspected guardian financial abuse. NASAA’s “Guarding the Guardians” publication provides examples of exploitation and information on how to report suspected elder financial abuse.
Examples of suspected guardian abuse include:
- A guardian taking money from the protected individual’s investment portfolio to buy items for the guardian’s personal use.
- A guardian overcharging for caregiving services, such as billing the estate hourly for wait time to file paperwork in person when the filing could have been submitted online.
- A guardian not taking the protected individual to medical appointments or not purchasing the protected individual’s necessary medication.
The “Guarding the Guardians” publication as well as other resources to help seniors are available on NASAA’s Serve Our Seniors website (serveourseniors.org) at the following link: http://serveourseniors.org/about/investors/. Other senior investor protection resources are available on the Division’s website at https://securities.colorado.gov/.
If you suspect possible senior financial exploitation, report it by contacting the Division at 303-894-2320 or email us at DORA_securitieswebsite@state.co.us.
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About the Division of Securities:
The Division of Securities exists to protect investors and maintain confidence in the securities market, while avoiding unreasonable burdens on the marketplace by licensing securities professionals, enforcing securities law violations, and helping Coloradans become more informed investors.
DORA is the state's umbrella regulatory agency, charged with managing licensing and registration for multiple professions and businesses, implementing balanced regulation for Colorado industries, and protecting consumers. Our nearly 600 employees are dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and promoting a fair and competitive business environment throughout Colorado.