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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 116715
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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Our ex-daughter-in-law passed May 2014. Custody of her

Customer Question

Our ex-daughter-in-law passed May 2014. Custody of her daughter automatically went to her ex-husband, our son, shortly thereafter. When our son took full control of his daughter, her deceased mother's SS benefits to her children went to him as guardian. He has not been doing a very good job of seeing that the monies going to benefit his daughter are spent wisely. In fact, although, he earns a decent living as an LPN, he seems to squander his monies on things unknown. He, unfortunately, has never been able to manage his income and expenses.
Our question is: Do we, as grandparents, have any rights to see that our son's misuse of monies intended for the benefit of our granddaughter can be managed by us? We do not need the monies and would put them in a college fund type account.
Note: Our grandson receives a monthly SS check directly because he is twenty, and a Junior at college. Our granddaughter is sixteen and a Junior in high school.
Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

He can be called for a periodic accounting by SSA, so he better be able to prove that money was spent for the child. You can report him to SSA for not spending the money properly and they will do an audit.

As far as grandparents taking over, this is going to be an unpleasant task and it is going to require you obtaining an attorney. The US Supreme Court has declared that the rights of the biological parents to make decisions for their child are fundamental rights (basic civil rights) which will not be interfered with unless the parent is proven by clear and convincing evidence to be unfit. See: Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000). So you can go in to seek to be named payee for your grandchild and also guardian over her property, but it will require you proving in court your son is unfit and it requires you to have an attorney.

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