At the request of its securities regulators, New Hampshire has enacted a law that will take effect on Sept. 8, intended to protect vulnerable adults from financial exploitation.
The law will allow registered representatives and investment advisers to delay a disbursement of funds from an investment account for a limited time if they reasonably believe it could result in the financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult.
The state's Bureau of Securities Regulation said New Hampshire law defines "vulnerable" to mean that the "physical, mental, or emotional ability of a person is such that he or she cannot manage personal, home, or financial affairs in his or her best interest, or that he or she cannot act or cannot delegate responsibility to a responsible caretaker or caregiver."
Regulators said that if an investment firm or its representative delays the disbursement of client funds due to a reasonable suspicion of financial exploitation, the firm or individual must follow certain procedures. This includes notifying the Bureau, notifying affected parties (except for parties believed to have engaged in the exploitation), and reviewing the proposed disbursement.
"With New Hampshire having the second oldest average age in the country and with the increasing numbers of baby boomers approaching or in retirement, it is particularly important to protect an aging population," said Barry Glennon, the state's head securities regulator.