Paying back social security when someone dies?

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You must notify Social Security when someone dies, and any benefits received for the month of their death onwards should be returned to social security. If the deceases has a direct deposit arrangement with the SSA, after notification of death they can usually tap into the account and pull that last check back out. Do not attempt to circumvent the recovery process or fool the SSA, as penalties and punishment for criminal acts may apply. Even if the money is withdrawn from the account, SSA will still have to be repaid. Usually this notification to SSA will be done by the surviving spouse, children or executor. Just call the local or main SSA number, and they have a procedure to take the necessary information. SSA also has a pamplet online "What To Do When A Beneficiary Dies" you can access. Any member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Lawyers should be able to assist you with such an issue. My practice is in Pittsburgh as The Estate Planning Centers at The Coulter Law Offices LLC. Please remember that this is a general discussion only, and is not intended as legal advice upon which anyone should rely. Moreover, I'm typing this reply off of the top of my head as a courtesy, not as a researched answer to your situation. You should consult with a lawyer or appropriate professional regarding you own specific facts and circumstances. Mark T. Coulter, J.D.
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