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Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13568
Experience:  22+ years legal exp. - 12+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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My wife past away leaving me no will or her Social Security.

Customer Question

My wife past away leaving me no will or her Social Security. What do I need to do.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Are you saying that you collect no Social Security retirement benefits yet based on your own lifetime work earnings?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I hope you do not charge me yet. I put my visa card in but no money in account. No I have my S.S. of my own. I am trying to find out if I am to get my wife's S.S or part. She gets more on her S.S. than I do. She passed away on Monday Night. I can not find a will or paper work. My daughter's name is ***** ***** Since this has happen to my wife I have had 5 Stephanie's that have been helping me wife items. I am going to Social Security office Wednesday.
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

I don't charge anyone - that is between you and the company site.

I am very sorry for your loss.

OK, we can not collect two benefit amounts for 1 person. It is 1 benefit per person. However, you CAN choose between yours and a survivor benefit based on your wife's account. SInce hers is larger, you'd likely want to do this. When you go to the SS office on Wednesday, you will want to bring the death certificate as well as your own photo ID, your own Birth Certificate and your Marriage License. In addition to switching to survivor benefit, you can also file for the "death benefit" of $255, while at the SS office. It is a one time payment, so not very exciting, but every bit, right?

If you recall any life insurance policies that may have been in your wife's name, do some digging. Sometimes they can be part of a membership (like a club), some stem from having a credit card, and come automatically as a benefit, but you need to know so you can make a claim if you are beneficiary. Some are attached to OLD employment. For the next several months or up to a year, I'd scour the incoming mail for credit card statements and /or renewal notices, for evidence of any such benefit. And of course, as you are now, I'd carefully go through all the paperwork in the house. If she didn't have a will, which is not unusual, as her spouse, it is likely that all will come to you legally anyway, if there is anything to probate.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

I hope this helps! My goal is toprovide you with excellent and accurateservice – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, Iam happy to address follow-up questions.

Kindly rate me "excellent"when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, shouldyou have legal questions. Be sure tostart future posts with "To ***** Esq., ONLY" ifyou want me to specifically answer it.

Sincerely, ***** ***** Joy, Esq.

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