Professional Advisors and the Challenge of an Aging Clients

October 5, 2016

This is an exploratory discussion among invited guests familiar with the challenges confronting professional advisors in law, financial services and health care who may encounter clients with diminishing capacity to make informed, autonomous decisions.  Policy and regulations guiding these professions are built on the presumptions that clients are capable of independent decision making in their own self-interest and that the professional’s role is providing clients with information and guidance to enable the client to make his or her own decisions.  However, confronted with a client’s possible or evident diminishing capacity, professionals must look beyond regulations to find solutions that respect the best interests of their clients.

  • How prevalent is this problem?
  • What are the challenges in dealing with a client’s diminishing capacity?
  • What guidance comes from a profession’s codes and standards of conduct?  Is it sufficient?
  • How do organizational incentives and structures align (or misalign) with the highest ethical approaches to this problem?
  • What kind of resources and support systems do professional advisors need to navigate these situations?
  • What steps are being taken, and what steps are needed to address this problem?  Where are the gaps?

The discussion will be facilitated by CEBC’s Interim President Dawn Elm, Ph.D. and by CEBC Executive Fellow James Mitchell.

Participation is by invitation only.  If you are interested in further information, please contact CEBC.