You may be someone who understands the importance of having a thorough estate plan. Rather than leaving your estate administration up to Nevada state laws or hoping that your family would simply know what to do, you made the wise decision to utilize the many estate planning tools and options that allow you to create a comprehensive plan.
Of course, even when you put your best foot forward when planning, you may not always cover every important aspect. It is also possible that you believe a certain planning tool will handle a particular matter when, in reality, it may not. For example, you may have created a financial power of attorney document in order to give a trusted individual the power to handle your financial affairs in the event that you became incapacitated. While that was smart, this agent cannot handle your Social Security benefits.
Remember your benefits
Many people mistakenly think that their power of attorney agent can easily collect and manage Social Security payments because that agent has the legal authority to handle their financial matters. What you may not know, however, is that the Social Security Administration does not recognize powers of attorney. As a result, you could face a number of complications if you need to receive benefits but cannot make sound financial decisions on your own.
Fortunately, you can take other measures to ensure that your estate plan addresses your Social Security benefits. You can appoint a representative payee by contacting the SSA and making an advance designation. This step allows you to appoint a person or multiple people to manage your benefits in the event that you cannot do so yourself. You can name up to three people, which could be wise in the event that your first choice cannot take the position for some reason.
Making the appointment
If you already receive Social Security benefits, you can appoint your representative payee at any time. If you are in the process of claiming benefits, you can appoint the person during this process. You may also want to remember that your appointment is not permanent, and you can change designations if you feel it necessary.
If you have concerns about ensuring the proper management of your Social Security benefits and how to appoint a representative payee, you may wish to broach this topic with an estate planning attorney who could provide more information.