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Power of attorney agent cannot collect Social Security payments

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2020 | Powers of Attorney

When creating an estate plan, California residents will need to appoint trusted people to various roles. One important role to consider is who to appoint as a financial power of attorney agent. However, this is not the only finance-related role that individuals need to fill when planning ahead.

While a financial POA agent can handle a number of financial-related matters, he or she cannot handle everything. In fact, if a person becomes incapacitated and needs someone to collect Social Security payments on his or her behalf, the POA agent does not automatically have the power to do that. The Social Security Administration does not recognize the power given to a POA agent and instead requires a separate designation to be made with the SSA.

Because Social Security payments are important to many people, forgetting to appoint a representative payee could be detrimental. Fortunately, if a person is already receiving payments or is in the process of claiming those payments, he or she can make an advance designation for a representative payee. Up to three people can be named to this role, but the SSA will have to review and determine whether the candidates suit the role.

It is certainly important to include a power of attorney agent in an estate plan, but it is just as important to cover areas where the agent may not specifically have the power to act. If California residents have concerns about ensuring that they make the correct appointments, they may wish to reach out to experienced attorneys for advice. These legal professionals can explain how and when POA agents can act and when other designations may be needed.


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