More than a third of financial advisors have clients with opioid problems

More than a third – 36% – of financial advisors report that a client or a client’s family member has an opioid problem, according to a survey of 400 advisors conducted by Investment News.

As a result, advisors are struggling to figure out how to deal with the issue, the publication says.

In recent years, advisors have come up with a number of protocols to protect clients from elder abuse, where family members or others take advantage of an older person’s mental decline or physical dependence to drain their financial resources. Now, advisors are trying to come up with similar protocols to protect clients who may be withdrawing funds to feed a habit, or whose family members may be dishonestly siphoning off funds.

Another issue is helping clients who may have to pay for expensive treatment for an addicted family member.

For advisors, common red flags of a problem include sudden or suspicious account withdrawals, unusual spending patterns, abrupt changes to family structures (such as divorce or an adult child moving home), reduced communication, and a sudden interest by family members in a client's finances.