When you are dealing with clients who exhibit signs of mental health issues or dementia or confusion, there are a number of steps you can take to help.
Talk to the client.
Ask the client for permission to reach out to emergency contacts that the client has provided you (e.g. friends, family, relatives, lawyers, social workers).
Recommend the client reach out to their legal and familial and social services and health services professionals.
Obtaining legal counsel ASAP can be critical.
Keep your BIC in the loop.
Contact the SCR legal hotline.
South Carolina Department of Social Services will investigate reports of concerns.
Also, the South Carolina Department of Aging was made a full cabinet position recently. Prior to that, the Lieutenant Governor’s office handled aging issues as a primary purpose.
NAR provides this information on the subject:
See the links below:
- Prevent elder abuse , Window to the Law, 2016
- Elder Abuse Prevention, SRES Council, June 2014
- Legal Pulse Newsletter, 2nd Quarter 2017 – See page 2 for two case summaries involving real estate professionals who provided services to elderly clients.
- Licensee not liable for bad investments, Legal Case Summaries, Apr. 2016
This article from the San Diego Association of REALTORS® focuses on California law, but also has some more general tips that apply anywhere:
- Financial elder abuse in real estate transactions, San Diego REALTOR®, Nov. 2016.
Posted by: Byron King on 01/11/19 (This information is only accurate as of 01/11/19. You must contact SCR for updates and changes to this information after 01/11/19 as laws and regulations may change over time. SCR 803-772-5206 or email info at screaltors.org)