Massachusetts Estate Planning & Asset Protection Blog

Planning to or receiving Social Security or VA Benefits? Get this done now!

Posted by Massachusetts Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney, Dennis B. Sullivan, Esq., CPA, LLM on Mon, Apr 27, 2020

 

documents with elderly parents

Many of you are receiving or will be receiving Social Security or VA benefits. We find that most of the people we help with estate planning and life care planning do not have a Durable Power of Attorney. Let us explain why this is the MOST IMPORTANT to complete now and how it relates to these SSA and Veteran’s Benefits as well.

Your Durable Power of Attorney will allow someone of your choosing to make decisions for you if necessary. There are often a number of critical decisions to be made if and when you are not able to speak for yourself including health, financial and personal. During this pandemic, when family members are not being allowed into hospitals along side their loved ones, it is more important than ever to be prepared. Even if your spouse of child is in touch with doctors and nurses, you need to empower them with this document.

However, there are a few times when even this document will not suffice; Social Security Administration and Veteran’s Affairs. Even if you designate an agent under a power of attorney, a trustee under a trust, or a guardian of your estate, they do not have legal authority to manage federal benefits checks.

Both of these offices require their own designation: Social Security Administration requires a Representative Payee and Veteran Affairs requires a VA Fiduciary.

These designations allow you to choose one or more people to make decisions, move accounts and get answers on your behalf. This is done by contacting the agency directly and make an advance designation. This law was passed in 2018, yet many of our clients come to meet with us not knowing this important information.

This can be done via the SSA website, or by phone (800-772-1213) or in person at a local office. Of course, during this pandemic, SSA offices are closed. To update your VA Fiduciary, contact your local VA Affairs office by clicking here..

Attend an upcoming Discovery Workshop!

(given online during Covid-19 pandemic)

Learn about our Unique Process to help you and your family enhance the security of your lifestyle, legacy and life savings

Next Live Online Workshop: 

Thursday April 30 @ 10am and 2pm

To register CLICK HERE or call 781-237-2815.

 

Tags: durable power of attorney, social security, VA benefits, living trusts, Elder Law Attorney, Estate Planning Attorney, covid-19, Heath Care Documents

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