Seniors Beware: Ask First!
Many of us need legal, financial, retirement, accounting, estate, long-term care or similar planning services. We seek help from planning advisors possessing the necessary training. Many planning advisors are well-qualified, capable, and make fair disclosure of pertinent information to their clients. Unfortunately, unqualified or dishonest individuals masquerade as expert planning advisors. Many of them provide sub-standard services or have hidden financial motives in providing their "planning services."
H.E.L.P. has developed the Ask First! form as a tool to help you. Using the Ask First! form, you ask the advisor to disclose in writing his or her credentials and ways of being paid. Keep a copy of the form handy. Use Ask First! at the beginning, before you start a relationship with a new advisor. If the person is reluctant to complete the form, take this as a warning.
At the same time you use Ask First! be sure to ask for and check the advisor’s references.
Ask First! is a PDF form that can be downloaded free, and printed out for your use. If you do not have a PDF reader -- you can obtain one for free from Adobe.
Remember: Ask First!