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December 01, 2013

2013 Overview: A Successful Project Partnership--Managing Someone Else's Money Guides

(Note: The pdf for the issue in which this article appears is available for download: BIFOCAL Vol. 35, Issue 2.)

In 2012 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) contracted with the Commission to develop a package of easy-to-understand booklets to help financial caregivers.

The CFPB released the four guides for “lay fiduciaries” entitled Managing Someone Else’s Money in late 2013.  

Four Guides
The guides cover four types of fiduciaries:

  • Agents under power of attorney
  • Guardians of property (sometimes known as conservators)
  • Trustees under revocable living trusts, and
  • Government benefits fiduciaries (Social Security representative payees and VA fiduciaries).

Guide Audience
The primary audience for the guides is family members and friends with legal authority to handle an incapacitated person’s funds. Millions of people have legal authority to manage money for a family member or a friend, and the number may grow with the aging of the population and the rising number of individuals with disabilities. But the booklets have practical tips for managing someone else’s money that could be useful to informal caregivers as well.

State Guides and Replication Tips

The four new guides are for a national audience, so they don’t address requirements in particular states. However, in the coming year, the CFPB will publish six sets of state-specific guides based on the national models, written by the Commission with input and information from state professionals.

The state guides are for Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Oregon, and Virginia. These states were selected because they have a high number or percentage of older residents, and also because they are located in different parts of the US.

The state guides will address requirements imposed by each state’s laws as well as resources available to people in these states.

Also, CFPB will publish replication instructions so that interested professionals and organizations in the remaining states can create their own Managing Someone Else’s Money guides.

Fiduciary Guides Online and in Print