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Estate planning results in desired outcomes

Florida residents may be wondering whether their spouse is able to steal their Social Security payments. When a person is no longer capable of handling his or her own finances, a representative payee can manage the money, but they must use the funds for the benefit of the recipient. Any other uses may be considered fraud.

Rather than just looking at the Social Security payments, it is a good idea to put a plan in place that addresses all financial aspects of a person's life. A financial power of attorney can be set up while a person is still healthy, and he or she can designate a trusted relative or friend who will be responsible for bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement funds and Social Security payments. They can also be set up to be responsible for paying the bills, such as a nursing home and taxes, which a person will continue to incur.

Without a power of attorney, a court often has to appoint a conservator or guardian. Most people prefer to have the option to appoint whom they want, but it takes a little planning ahead to make sure that such arrangements are done in a timely fashion.

Whether a person is aware of the fact or not, he or she will eventually build an estate. Many people take comfort in knowing that setting up an estate plan while they are healthy is a rather simple process. Once the plan for their estate administration is set up, with periodic reviews to make any necessary updates, they can rest assured that their plans will be carried out as they wish.

Source: FOX Business, "Can Dad's new Wife Steal his Social Security?", Liz Weston, April 21, 2014

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