What is the role of a representative payee?

On Behalf of | Apr 28, 2020 | Social Security |

Many people in Southern Arizona plan on utilizing Social Security benefits as a means of funding their retirement. However, it is often the case that a person becomes unable to manage their own finances as they age. In anticipation of that possibility a person may have executed a financial power of attorney.

A financial power of attorney is a document in which you name a person to handle your financial affairs should you become incapacitated. However, what may surprise you is to learn that the Social Security Administration does not recognize power of attorneys. Instead, you need to have what is known as an advance designation of a representative payee.

To designate someone as an advance designation of a representative payee, the first step is to contact the Social Security Administration online, over the phone or at your local field office. The SSA will conduct an evaluation to ensure the person you selected will be able to handle their role as representative payee. If accepted, should you become incapacitated the payee is the person who will receive your Social Security benefits and must use those funds to pay for your needs.

As this shows, it is important that your estate plan is comprehensive and includes all the necessary documents to ensure your wishes are met. For many who plan to rely on Social Security benefits in their old age, this means executing an advance designation of a representative payee. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Attorneys in the Tucson area are available to provide further information on this topic.