OOPS Moments

As we approach each day and use the services of banks, insurance companies, utility companies, government agencies and a variety of service companies, we expect them to always “do things correctly” and occasionally find out that this is not always the case. Unfortunately, even the most astute individuals cannot catch these “oops moments” quickly enough to have them immediately corrected or at least to have their effect mitigated. Those who use the services offered by these organizations may also be the inadvertent cause of what may appear as an errant charge on a monthly invoice.

That is not always the case as there have been anecdotal examples of Executors discovering the payout of insurance policies at amounts not as specified in the policies. Some seniors who have worked for a single employer for their entire career may have a term insurance rider appended to their pension. The insurance company pays the policy amount when the senior passes away but the senior may have forgotten about such a policy and therefore updated it with respect to named beneficiaries. If no beneficiaries are named or there are no surviving beneficiaries, the proceeds would be payable to the senior’s estate.

Most seniors in their late seventies or beyond are generally not computer savvy.  They may not even have used a computer during at least the last few years of their pre-retirement employment. While possibly having a computer at home, they may not take advantage of electronic banking and other such services. As well, perhaps they are not able to manage their financial affairs properly. So long as they do not have any bounced cheques, they feel comfortable. Their sense of financial well-being may simply be that they receive their pension, annuity, OAS, CPP and possibly other income each month while they pay their bills at the end of the month. Those seniors who have a financial advisor may not discuss their day-to-day financial activities with their advisor but simply ask that their investments provide a certain monthly income in addition to anything else they may have.  These seniors have some vulnerability with respect to their day-to-day financial activities for such incidents as erroneous charges on their credit cards, interest payment charges on a missed or late charge card payment, inadvertent sign-up to a subscription, etc.

While cognition changes vary with age and does not affect everyone in the same way, we can generally assume that the possible lack of occasional review of accounts is more prevalent among seniors than for the rest of the population. Such a review as could be performed by a Financial Concierge™ providing assurance to not only the senior but to their family or other parties they would designate that the senior’s affairs are in order. Ideally, the situation would encompass the senior’s Personal Representative (previously Executor or Executrix) and Enduring Power of Attorney (often the same individual) so they can arrange to work with the senior (often their parent or parents) to ensure the account of financial and related affairs is kept current. This would be of great help to them when they process the estate years down the road.

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