How a counselor followed his gut to help a client with cognitive decline

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    One thing to consider, says Plaskett, is the importance of respecting customers, even as you take steps to protect them. As they begin to realize that they are not as perceptive as they were before, this can be difficult for clients to process, meaning advisors need to be confident in approaching the situation with an appropriate level of sensitivity.

    «In this particular scenario, we said we’re updating our files and we’d like to have a trusted contact that we could put on record and contact if anything happened,» says Plaskett.

    At this point, the client did not change their financial plan regularly and did not need to make course corrections. However, Plaskett cautions that in cases where a client’s sanity is failing and monumental changes to their financial plan are required, a more cautious approach needs to be taken, for example by having the trusted contact or a fellow consultant in the room. Rigorous documentation and verification of recommendations is also essential, he adds.

    Based on this and other similar experiences, Plaskett offers some takeaways for other consultants. “The first thing I would always recommend is to go with your gut. Your gut feeling doesn’t lie to you,» he says. «If something indicates that something is wrong, that’s probably a red flag.»

    He also emphasizes that while review meetings are an important mechanism for maintaining a client’s overall financial plan, not all advisors should do so.

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