In times of unforeseen events or emergencies, it is crucial to have a plan in place to protect your financial interests. One important step in this regard is designating a trusted contact in connection with accounts with all your financial institutions. Here's why designating a trusted contact is essential and how to do it:
Why Designate a Trusted Contact?
Financial Protection: Life is unpredictable, and emergencies or unexpected health issues can happen to anyone. By designating a trusted contact, you provide your financial institution(s) with someone they can contact to if they are unable to contact you or if they have concerns about your account activity, your health, or your mental well-being. Naming a trusted contact does NOT give that person authority to access your account information or make transactions on your behalf.
Fraud Prevention: A trusted contact can help safeguard your accounts from potential fraud or financial exploitation. Financial institutions can contact this person if they suspect any suspicious activity, ensuring that your assets are protected.
Efficient Communication: In times of crisis, clear and efficient communication is essential. Designating a trusted contact streamlines communication between your financial institution, you, and your family members or other trusted individuals who may need to be involved in decision-making regarding your financial affairs.
How to Designate a Trusted Contact:
Contact Your Financial Institution: Reach out to your financial institution, whether it's a bank, or a brokerage or investment firm, to inquire about their process for designating a trusted contact.
Provide Information: You will typically need to provide the name, contact information, and relationship of the individual you wish to designate as your trusted contact. This person should be someone you trust and who is willing to take on this responsibility.
Understand the Role: It's essential to clarify the role of the trusted contact with both your financial institution and the designated individual. Your trusted contact should know that his or her involvement is primarily for emergency situations and protecting your financial interests. Naming someone as a trusted contact does not give that person any authority to act on your behalf, execute transactions, or engage in activity in your account.
By designating a trusted contact, you take a proactive step towards protecting your financial interests in times of uncertainty. This ensures that your financial institution has a designated point of contact who can help safeguard your assets if you are unable or unavailable to do so yourself. Remember that these steps are valuable precautionary measures that can provide you and your loved ones with peace of mind during challenging times.