Unfortunately, one of the things that can easily become a big mistake in your otherwise well thought out estate plan, are Social Security benefits. A financial power of attorney is a crucial document for your estate plan because it empowers somebody else to manage your finances when you are no longer able to do so.

Of course, in the bigger picture of managing your finances, this includes your social security benefits, whether you intend to apply for them in the future or are already receiving them. Most people don’t realize until they hit a snag that the social security administration doesn’t recognize power of attorney documents. Instead within your broader estate plan, you need to contact the agency directly and name an advanced designation of a representative payee.

This allows you to select one or more people to manage your Social Security benefits. You can name as many as three people as advanced designees and list them in order of how you’d like them to be consider. You can name an advanced designee at any time if you are already receiving Social Security benefits. You will also be able to add your designee on the “My Social Security Account” on the social security website or by contacting the agency over the telephone and you are able to update these designees at any time.

After that, the SSA will evaluate a designee and determine whether or not they are suitable to act on your behalf. Once they have been approved, the designee is your representative payee for your benefits. Schedule a consultation with your Pasadena estate planning attorney to learn more about other ways to avoid estate planning mistakes.

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