This is a serious issue for older investors. I share this information FWIW. It’s new to me, and so I have no opinions or advice or personal experience to share.
From TRP: “A trusted contact is an individual identified and selected by the account owner who can be contacted by the financial firm if something seems amiss. For example, if the firm is concerned that the account owner is no longer able to handle their financial affairs , if the account owner cannot be reached, or if there is a reason to suspect fraud or financial exploitation, the firm is authorized to reach out to the trusted contact for guidance. Additionally, the financial firm can temporarily withhold the disbursement of funds or securities while any matters are being investigated. The firm is authorized to share transaction information, specific securities, beneficiary designations, and the account owner’s contact information with this individual. So, it is important that the account holder select someone he or she fully trusts.”
This seems to be a relatively new (and voluntary) provision, imposed on the financial services industry by government regulatory edict in an attempt to protect older more vulnerable individuals from fraud. It’s not unique to TRP (although others may implement it somewhat differently). FYI - At TRP the process of setting this up can be done online after logging in to your account.