My question involves estate proceedings in the state of: Florida
My mother has left all her financial affairs, including her will, in the hands of her CFP. Over the last year, her mental health has declined respective to short term memory, i.e. - in conversation she will repeatedly ask the same question, (which has been answered), or forgets that she has said something, or where things are, like a microwave in my sister's kitchen. Recently, the husband of her only living sibling died, she forgot it... called to notify me when her sister called her regarding services, however she had called me two days prior to notify me of my uncle's death.
Though my mother has been treated for various medical conditions and has regular examinations, my siblings and I have not been given authorization by her for the release of medical information. In addition, she is very suspicious of any interest in 'her money' or financial affairs by any sibling. (Her financial affairs were arranged by her husband before his death about 15 years ago). Before his death, she was never in charge of money matters, investments, etc. At this stage, we siblings know almost nothing about her investment portfolio or estate plans, except that she has been living very comfortably on interest income.
In Jan '11, I talked to her CFP with concern for her memory and capability to oversee her affairs. The CFP indicated he felt no concern for her abilities or affairs ('sees a lot of this with elderly clients'), but said he would call me once he'd met with her. Since then, he has met with her several times, most recently within the last month, to make some changes to her will. My siblings and I are quite concerned for her medical and financial well being, but have been kept out of the loop, mostly by my mother's design.
My question is, does a CFP have a fiduciary responsibility to contact or respond to the client's family relative to declining health concerns as related to 'capacity'? Can a CFP be granted limited or durable power of attorney, appointed an executor, or a conservator of my mother's estate? Are there conditions that present a conflict of interest, or unethical conduct in this regard which are cause for adjudication? Should a CFP be responsive to inquires from a client's children and is he obligated to seek family involvement to assist in financial/investment decision making in the event the client is incapable? We are concerned for his overriding permissions and control granted by our mother, with ultimately serve his best interests. Legal and ethical advice in these areas would be greatly appreciated.