Addressing Decreased Decision-Making Capacity Due to Dementia or Other Illnesses
In the past, most people would expect to live to around 80, but with society now transitioning to an era of more centenarians, we can now expect to keep on living. We therefore must make preparations for the future based on the assumption that during the latter part of our lives we might suffer from dementia or require nursing care. From the viewpoint of normalization, SuMi TRUST Bank undertakes various initiatives with the aim of creating a society in which clients with dementia can still lead a life that is more or less the same as before.
Dementia Incidence Rate by Age
Improving Customer Service and Literacy at Branch Offices
Based on the Japanese government’s New Orange Plan, a policy to build friendly communities for elderly persons with dementia, SuMi TRUST Bank is promoting the training of dementia supporters to provide support to dementia sufferers and their families. In the Retail Total Solution (TS) Services Business, all section managers (supervisors) at branch offices are required to obtain "Gerontology Concierge" accreditation by passing an exam run by the Society for Applied Gerontology Japan.
Furthermore, we have sent all branch offices in the Retail TS Services Business copies of the booklet entitled Guide for Dementia Friendly Financial Services and the Bank is strengthening its practical approach to dealing with dementia issues by, for example, holding study sessions during which employees can read through the content of the booklet together. In addition, as a qualification that proves an employee has obtained customer service skills concerning elderly clients, we plan to have all branch office employees in the Retail TS Services Business acquire "Bank Gerontologist" accreditation under a new certification program that was set up in January 2021.
|No. of dementia supporter training participants||3,973|
|No. of Gerontology Concierge-accredited employees||924
(From 2014 all branch and general managers were required to sit the test. This requirement was expanded to also include section managers and above from 2020)
|Bank Gerontologist certification exam||This certification took effect from January 2021 and all branch offices are scheduled to undertake this exam|
*Numbers are as of end-September 2020
Collaborating with COLTEM on Decision-Making Support
SuMi TRUST Bank is implementing dementia-related initiatives by collaborating with COLTEM (collaboration center of law, technology, and medicine for autonomy of older adults), which receives assistance from MEXT’s Japan Science and Technology Agency, as well as the post-graduate school of Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, a leader in dementia research (in particular, Professor Jin Narumoto). The publication of our Guide for Dementia Friendly Financial Services in September 2017 is one accomplishment of this initiative. We have also contributed to improving the entire financial industry’s response to dementia issues by taking the lead in hosting symposiums with a focus on finance and dementia. The knowledge gained from these alliances have greatly helped SuMi TRUST Bank develop its own products and services.
Also, the Bank has focused its efforts on improving the entire financial industry’s response to dementia issues by hosting a working group to discuss issues on responding to elderly clients at financial institutions. SuMi TRUST Bank also helped establish the Decision-Making Support Organization Japan, the succeeding organization to COLTEM, and contributed to the creation of the Bank Gerontologist certification exam in January 2021.
Asset Management for Clients with Dementia
Once a person loses his or her ability to make decisions because of dementia or some other reason, they struggle to manage their deposits and savings or stay on top of various financial agreements. This makes them easy targets for bank-transfer scams or unscrupulous business practices. In asset management, needless to say, the safeguarding of finances must be prioritized before anything else. Next required is daily living support in asset management. They may require help in managing their day-today finances, for example, collecting pension payments, paying taxes and utility bills, or paying money when they go shopping. And offering support to help them communicate their intentions is also key. Even though someone with dementia may find it difficult to communicate their thoughts, what they want to do or what they want done remains the same. However, there is a limit to how much they can rely on the considerations of their supporters, so particularly with regard to legal procedures, such as contracts, they will need a way to communicate their intentions under a private contract while they are still capable of making decisions. In our digest report for seniors (Considering the Problems of Dementia), we provide easy-to-understand explanations of the adult guardianship system and other public support schemes, as well as our financial products and services that complement those schemes.
Key PointUnder the Discretionary Guardianship System, a Separate Money Trust Provides an Extra Level of Safeguarding.
This money trust supports the discretionary guardianship system by managing the assets of its users. It safely and soundly protects assets held in the money trust because after the discretionary guardianship contract takes effect, funds can only be released (lump-sum payment) with the consent of the discretionary guardianship supervisor. Funds required for day-to-day living expenses can also be released periodically (regular fixed-amount payments), which alleviates the burden of asset management on the discretionary guardian. Until the discretionary guardianship contract comes into effect, the client or their nominated representative can take charge of procedures for lump-sum or regular fixed-amount payments. An authorization form signed by the client must be submitted each time the representative wishes to take charge of procedures on behalf of the client.
Key PointIncorporating a Number of Useful Features in Preparation for Decreased Decision-Making Capacity among Many Clients in the Future When More People Are Likely to Reach the Age of 100, This Trust Product Has Been Designed to Help Clients Feel at Ease and Enjoy a Productive Life.
A money trust armed with a host of useful features to combat the problems elderly clients may face, such as withdrawing from their bank account, when the ability to make decisions has declined because of dementia or other similar symptoms. Along with tie-up solutions under the adult guardianship system and broad-ranging client-focused consulting, the 100-Year Life Solution Trust is the product best suited to an age when more people will likely live to be 100.
Four Features in One Package
Delegation of payments (pension deposits and other payments as needed)
In preparing for dementia or other health concerns, another person can be designated in advance to take care of payment procedures. A relative within the fourth degree of kinship, lawyer, judicial scrivener, or tax accountant can be nominated.
During dementia or ill health:
- Monthly living expenses (up to ¥300,000/month) can be paid into the trust account. One additional payment per year is also permitted.
- The trust can also be used to pay large sums that might arise from medical fees, nursing care expenses, housing costs, taxation, or social insurance premiums. A person approving withdrawals can also be set up in advance.
To avoid falling victim to the many types of scams—of which there are up to 16,000* cases annually—a person approving withdrawals can be set up in advance.
*According to the Metropolitan Police Department, 16,851 cases of fraud occurred in 2019 for a total loss of roughly ¥36.39 billion.
Monthly living expenses can be deposited on a periodic basis. This money can also be used to pay for additional creature comforts or gifted to loved ones.
Inheritance money of up to ¥5 million can be smoothly paid out to heirs designated in advance.
Key PointA Trust Product That Facilitates Ongoing Asset Management Based on the Intentions of the Client Even after a Decline in Cognitive Abilities.
The Anshin Support Trust offers clients and their families medium- to long-term customized support for the preservation and management of their precious assets. Through collaboration with the Anshin Support Corporation established by SuMi TRUST Bank, this unique trust bank product eases concerns about assets and loved ones. The details of the trust agreement are designed together with the client after more information about the client’s approach to asset formation and management is learned.
As for the fund wrap-type, the client continues to undertake asset management, but management with SuMi TRUST Bank’s fund wrap means the assets can be drawn down whenever required and converted to cash in order to pay for living expenses, medical costs, or nursing care. The conditions for cash conversion and payments can be set up in advance under a trust agreement, whilst SuMi TRUST Bank will also make a decision on whether or not payments are to be made in times of emergency, for example.
*Only some branches offer the Anshin Support Trust product.
Key PointAn Agreement for a Civil Trust Can Be Freely Designed So That the Client’s Intentions Can Be Communicated and Unlike a Normal Trust in Which the Trust Bank Acts as the Trustee, a Family Member or Somebody Else Can Perform This Role. In More and More Cases, Civil Trust Agreements Are Being Supported by Professional Associations.
*Civil trusts require a deposit account (trust account) for the trustee to separately manage the trust assets (funds).
Key PointSuMi TRUST Bank Provides Financial Services like Trust Accounts for the Trustees of Civil Trusts. Please Consult with a Specialist in Legal and Tax Affairs When Setting Up a Civil Trust.
SuMi TRUST Bank contributes to the healthy development of civil trusts by working together with legal and taxation experts to offer civil trust consulting and agreement drafting support services and by providing civil trust trustees with deposit accounts (trust accounts) and other financial and trust-related products and services that are indispensable to the proper segregation and management of assets.
In aiming to contribute to the sound development of civil trusts, SuMi TRUST Bank entered into an agreement with the Tokyo Bar Association to refer clients to a lawyer when setting up civil trusts.
|Scope of consultation||
|Availability||Head office and branches in Tokyo|
|Introduction fee||No charge|
|Legal consultation fees||Initial consultation: One hour free of charge (special benefit when using this scheme)
Subsequent consultations: ¥5,000 per 30 minutes (before tax)
|Contracts with lawyers||Contracts with lawyers will attract a fee. The decision to enter into any contract with the appointed lawyer is the sole decision of the client.|
Key PointSafeguards Precious Assets from Malicious Scams with Two-Tier Account Security.
The concerns of our clients and their children (many of whom live apart) are growing as more crimes targeting the elderly, such as bank-transfer scams, are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Our Security Trust safeguards the assets of our clients from such financial crimes. The product is structured so that funds can only be withdrawn after approval of the previously nominated consenting party (a relative within the third degree of kinship to the client) has been obtained. The trust can also be utilized in conjunction with the regular fixed-amount payment method.
Lump-sum payment method
Under this structure, funds held in the trust cannot be withdrawn without the approval of a previously nominated family member.
This prevents the client from being drawn into a scam because it provides the client with an opportunity to first discuss any planned withdrawals with family members.
Regular fixed-amount payment method
A fixed amount of the funds held in the security trust can be withdrawn periodically to pay for living expenses (up to ¥200,000/month).
*No management fees
SuMi TRUST Bank has entered into agreements with various professional industry associations that are active in the area of adult guardianship and refers the consultations and inquiries from clients regarding the adult guardianship system to these professional associations.
Key PointThe Trust Bank Safeguards the Client’s Assets Pursuant to Instructions of the Family Court to Prevent Guardian Dishonesty.
This is structured so that the savings and deposits needed for day-to-day payments for a person receiving assistance under the legal guardianship system are managed by a guardian while money not ordinarily used is entrusted to the trust bank.
When utilizing this trust, written instructions issued by the family court in advance are required in order to withdraw the trust assets or cancel the trust contract. In principle, a professional guardian such as an attorney or judicial scrivener will act on behalf of the client to make decisions regarding the entrustment of assets, including the trust bank to which the assets are entrusted and the amount of trust assets, and conclude a trust contract with the trust bank pursuant to instructions of the family court.
This trust provides appropriate protection from the misuse of the client’s assets by an adult guardian.
Cumulative Number of Users of Guardianship System Support Trusts
Role of Financial Institutions in Regional Partnerships
The Japanese government and prefectural and municipal governments are currently working together to build a network of regional partnerships with the goal of promoting the use of the adult guardianship system and steps are being taken to organize the institutions that will play a core role in this network (core institutions) and associations. As one member of society that can provide infrastructure for financial and estate management, the SuMi TRUST Group will look to actively collaborate with communities mainly by establishing a basis for cooperation by contacting the core institutions located nearby our branches throughout Japan. We will also further ramp up our initiatives in order to contribute with solutions that harness the power of trusts.
*In February 2018, we concluded an agreement with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government with the aim of building a community to support senior citizens and the like.
- Role of Regional Partnerships
- Find and assist people needed for advocacy support
- Develop a consultation and service structure from an early stage
- Build a support structure to help administrate the adult guardianship system with an emphasis on decision-making support and property protection
- Functions of Regional Partnerships
- Publicity, consultation, promotion of utilization, guardian support, fraud prevention
- *1Association: Councils comprising professional legal and welfare organizations and judicial, welfare, medical, community and financial institutions that aim to strengthen collaborative frameworks.
- *2Team: Close family members and people that are part of welfare, medical, or community organizations that work together on a daily basis to continuously look after the incapacitated person and understand their intentions and circumstances.