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May 22, 2019

What’s in a Name? The CFPB Allows Co-Branding of Popular Guides

(The pdf for the issue in which this article appears is available for download: Bifocal, Vol. 40, Issue 5.)

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced in early April that it will allow entities – including not-for-profit and for-profit organizations – to co-brand its popular Managing Someone Else’s Money (MSEM) guides. The CFPB produced a web page full of information about how to do that:
The Commission on Law and Aging won a contract in 2012 from the CFPB that resulted in:

  • Four national fiduciary guides for laypersons acting as agents under under powers of attorney, court-appointed guardians of property and conservators, representative payees and VA fiduciaries, and trustees under a revocable living trust, known collectively as the MSEM guides
  • Twenty-four state guides adapted from four national guides for Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Oregon, and Virginia
  • A set of tips and templates other states can use to adapt the guides

The CFPB released the national guides in October 2013 and subsequently translated the guides into Spanish. The state guides were released by CFPB between 2015 and early 2018. Other states, including Texas, Michigan, Minnesota, and Alabama have adapted or are adapting some or all the guides.
The CFPB provides information about the national and state guides, and the tips and template, at

The guides have been widely publicized and well received in national, state, and local media. The CFPB has disseminated more than 1.3 million hard and virtual copies of the national and state documents.  They are among the agency’s most popular publications.

Lori Stiegel

Senior Attorney, Commission on Law & Aging

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