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Lane
Lane, JD,CFP, MBA, CRPS
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 10130
Experience:  Law Degree, specialization in Tax Law and Corporate Law, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial, Social Security & Tax advice since 1986
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My ex-husband recently passed away. Before he passed, he

Customer Question

My ex-husband recently passed away. Before he passed, he told me that he had named me as beneficiary on his social security. What do I have to do to claim this? We were married for 17 years and I have never remarried.
JA: The retirement accountant will know how to help. Is there anything else the retirement accountant should be aware of?
Customer: Not that I know of.
Submitted: 15 days ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Lane replied 15 days ago.

Hi. My name's Lane. I can help you here.

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First, I'm sorry for your loss.

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Just to lay the foundation here, that's not exactly how things work. We do not get to name certain people as beneficiaries with Social Security (as we do with IRA's, 401(k)s, wills, etc.

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You are simply entitled to a Social Security Survivor's benefit becasue you were married to your husband (for at least 9 months) and you never remarried.

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Had you divorced, the rule is 10 years, and not remarry before age 60.

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But here, you clearly are entitled to the social security SURVIVORS benefit.

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Likely, the funeral home reported the death of your husband to Social Security. If they did not, then you will need to do two things; (1) Notify them of the death, by providing death certificate, and (2) File FOR that survivors benefit.

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If they DID notify, then you just need to file for the benefit.

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SURVIVORS benefits are the only benefit for which you cannot file on line. You'll need to either to call the main Social Security Number or go to the closes Social Security Field office.

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Bear with me a moment and I'll (1) get you that number, and (2) tell you the documents you'll need.

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Also, if you want to give me your zip code I can look up the closest office for you.

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Be right back

Expert:  Lane replied 15 days ago.

To report a death or apply for benefits, call 1-***-***-****.You can speak to a Social Security representative between 7 AM and 7 PM Monday through Friday.

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You can also contact your local Social Security office: If you don't have all the documents you need, don't delay signing up for Social Security.

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In many cases, your local Social Security office can contact your state Bureau of Vital Statistics and verify your information online at no cost to you.

Expert:  Lane replied 15 days ago.

And here are the documents you'll need to provide (but again, if you don't have everything, they can help)

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Documents you may need to provide

We may ask you to provide documents to show that you are eligible, such as:

  • Proof of the worker's death;
  • Birth certificate or other proof of birth;
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the United States
  • W-2 forms(s) and/or self-employment tax returns for last year;
  • Final divorce decree, if applying as a surviving divorced spouse; and
  • Marriage certificate
Expert:  Lane replied 15 days ago.

Please Let me know if you have ANY questions, before rating me.

But if this HAS helped, and you don’t have more questions on this, I’d appreciate a positive rating (by using those stars on your screen, and clicking submit) … Otherwise JA won’t compensate me for the work.

Thank you,

Lane

I have a Law degree with concentration in Tax , Estate & Corporate Law, … an MBA, with specialization in finance … a BBA, and CFP & CRPS designations, as well - I’ve been providing financial, Social Security/Medicare, estate, corporate, non-profit, and tax advice, since 1986.

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