Woman typing on a laptop with FINRA logo on the screen. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has adopted its rule to limit brokers from holding “positions of trust” for clients — such as being named a client’s beneficiary, trustee or executor, or being given power of attorney.

New FINRA Rule 3241 (Registered Person Being Named a Customer’s Beneficiary or Holding a Position of Trust for a Customer) requires all member firms to affirmatively address registered persons being named beneficiaries or holding positions of trusts for customers.

The rule requires the member firm with which the registered person is associated, upon receiving required written notice from the registered person, to review and approve or disapprove the registered person assuming such status or acting in such capacity, FINRA explains.

The rule does not apply where the customer is a member of the registered person’s immediate family.

Rule 3241 becomes effective Feb. 15, 2021.

The rule creates a uniform, national standard to govern registered persons holding positions of trust, better protects investors and provides consistency across member firms’ policies and procedures, FINRA said.

Under the rule, a registered person must decline:

(1) being named a beneficiary of a customer’s estate or receiving a bequest from a customer’s estate upon learning of such status unless the registered person provides written notice upon learning of such status and receives written approval from the member firm prior to being named a beneficiary of a customer’s estate or receiving a bequest from a customer’s estate; and

(2) being named as an executor or trustee or holding a power of attorney or similar position for or on behalf of a customer unless: upon learning of such status, the registered person provides written notice and receives written approval from the member firm prior to acting in such capacity or receiving any fees, assets or other benefit in relation to acting in such capacity; and the registered person does not derive financial gain from acting in such capacity other than from fees or other charges that are reasonable and customary for acting in such capacity.

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