Thu, Dec 13, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Group pushes for uptake of adult custodial system

By Kao Shih-ching  /  Staff reporter

Taiwanese need to wait longer for the introduction of an adult custodial system, as the Judicial Yuan is still mulling amendments to the regulations, the Trust Association said yesterday.

The adult custodian system aims to protect senior citizens’ assets if their mental capacity becomes diminished by ensuring that only their designated custodian or “expert custodians,” such as lawyers and accountants, can oversee their assets.

In October, Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) said he supports the system and told reporters that he had discussed with the Judicial Yuan which regulations need to be amended so the new system could be adopted.

The commission and the Judicial Yuan concluded that amending the Family Act (家事事件法) was the best way forward.

The association had prepared the documents and materials required to amend the act, hoping to speed up the process, but was told last month by the Judicial Yuan that more time was needed, association secretary-general Helen Lu (呂蕙容) told reporters.

“The Judicial Yuan said that the Family Act is just a procedural law, and amendments to a substantive law, such as the Civil Code, are required to adopt the new adult custodial system,” Lu said.

As it would take too much time to amend the Civil Code, the association would continue negotiating with the FSC and the Judicial Yuan, Lu said.

An adult custodian system has been adopted in Japan to curb the misappropriation of senior citizens’ assets, but it did not require the amendment of any regulations, Lu said.

Citing statistics from Japan, Lu said that over 10 months there were 182 cases in which senior citizens had lost ¥1.8 billion (US$15.89 million), mostly due to misappropriation by relatives.

In Japan, senior citizens holding assets worth at least ¥10 million are eligible for the system, and they are advised to set up a 10-year asset plan to avoid becoming victims of fraud, Lu said.

Taiwan has become an “aged society,” with more than 14 percent of the population being older than 65, and is expected to become a “hyper-aged” society within eight years.

To address changing demographics, the FSC in 2016 began encouraging investment firms to make trust funds available to senior citizens to protect their assets.

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