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When estate planning, remember a representative payee for the SSA

When getting older, many Maryland residents have a number of matters to think about. In particular, they may want to ensure that their affairs are in order so that their families have an easier time handling events associated with a person's incapacitation or passing. While estate planning is certainly a wise step, it is important to remember that this process has many minute details to consider.

One issue that many people overlook is who can collect Social Security payments on their behalf. They may think that the financial power of attorney agent they named can easily handle this matter, but it may come as a surprise to learn that the Social Security Administration does not recognize POA appointments. Instead, a separate measure is needed.

Parties who are already receiving Social Security payments or who are in the process of claiming them can name an advance designation for a representative payee. This payee will have the authority to collect payments in the event that the recipient becomes incapacitated or otherwise cannot collect the payments him or herself. The SSA will review the designation to determine whether the candidate is fit to act in this position.

Though appointing a power of attorney agent is smart, it is important to understand the scope of the agent's power. As this example shows, there are instances in which the POA does not automatically have the authority to handle financial matters for a person. As a result, Maryland residents may want to go over this subject with experienced estate planning attorneys to ensure that they make the proper appointments for various needs.

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