Canadians are living longer than ever before, and older Canadians are increasingly making up a greater proportion of the total population. As investors live longer, there is a greater need for targeted financial advice and strategies associated with aging, as well as the need to be more attuned to the sometimes-subtle changes clients may present as they age.
A trusted contact person (TCP) is a simple and effective preventative measure to protect yourself. While you may not need it right now, implementing this safeguard before it’s required allows it to help protect you. While it’s not mandatory, the securities regulators and many other institutions encourage the use of this instrument to safeguard your accounts.
What is a trusted contact person?
A TCP is someone we can reach out to if we have concerns of possible financial exploitation or diminished mental capacity.
Why have a trusted contact person?
Sadly, Canadians lose billions of dollars a year to fraud and scams and older investors are more likely to be victims of these crimes. Nominating a TCP adds a further defence against these concerns by allowing us to contact someone you trust if any suspicions are raised.
When would a trusted contact person be contacted by us?
A TCP would only be contacted when there’s something amiss, to help communicate, confirm or make inquiries about any of the following;
- Possible financial exploitation;
- Concerns about the mental capacity in respect of the financial decision-making or lack of decision-making;
- To confirm or receive the name and contact information for:
- (a) a legal guardian of, or any other personal or legal representative of, the client; or
- (b) an executor of an estate or trustee of a trust under which the client is a beneficiary.
The TCP has no authority to transact on account/ make other financial decisions. They don’t replace or assume the role of a power of attorney.
Who needs a trusted contact person?
Everyone! As much as this tool is a safeguard for vulnerable investors, no one is able to predict the future. You hope to never need it, but if a situation arises where it can help you’ll be glad to have the extra measures.
Who should be a trusted contact person?
- Someone who you trust
- Someone who is mature and able to discuss potentially emotional topics
- Someone who has the ability to communicate and be proactive
- Someone who knows specific details regarding your well-being, including your mental or physical health status or whereabouts
This person can change over time, you can change who you designate or even revoke designations entirely at any time.
How to nominate a trusted contact person?
Let us know!
To utilize this tool, please complete this simple form for you to make this nomination. If you’re torn between two people, feel free to name multiple trusted contacts. The completed form can then be uploaded to the documents section of your dashboard. Contact us if you need any assistance.
“Financial exploitation” means, in respect of an individual, the use, control or deprivation of the individual’s financial assets through undue influence or wrongful or unlawful conduct.
“Mental capacity” means the ability to understand information or appreciate the foreseeable consequences of a decision or lack of a decision.
“Vulnerable client” means a client of a registered firm or a registered individual who may have an illness, impairment, disability or aging process limitation that places the client at risk of financial exploitation.
CSA Notice - Enhance Protection of Older and Vulnerable Clients
Ontario Securities Commission - Protecting Aging Investors through Behavioural Insights
AUM Law - Trusted Contact Person