Many people wisely plan for their incapacity by creating a property or financial power of attorney. A property or financial power of attorney will allow your named agent to speak to various financial institutions in the event that you are not able to manage your own financial affairs at some time. A loved one that needs to help a family member who is incapacitated, but does not have the capacity to create estate planning documents may need to petition the court to be appointed as a guardian. What most people do not know is that the Social Security Administration is not obligated to accept a valid Power of Attorney or a Court Order appointing a legal guardian from a State.
So how can you plan for someone to assist you with the management of your benefits received through the Social Security Administration? If you are applying for benefits or receiving benefits, you are able to designate a representative payee in advance. The Social Security Administration allows you to designate up to three individuals in advance who could serve as your representative payee if the need ever arises.
Advance designation of representative payees was provided for in the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018. The Social Security Administration will only contact advance designees if they need to find a representative payee to assist in the management of your benefits and you can update or withdraw your advance designation at any time. The Social Security Administration will send a notice each year listing the advance designees for review.
As you can see, having a power of attorney is important but it is not the full conversation of how to plan for your incapacity. If you or a loved one would like to discuss planning for incapacity, contact us at Sinclair Prosser Gasior for an appointment today.