Q: I have an adult daughter receiving SSI disability.Her name is on my utility bills, bank accounts, etc., as I want her to
be the beneficiary for everything. I already have a will designating her to be the recipient of my assets. I received a letter from Social Security wanting to discontinue her benefits because I have her name listed on my bank accounts, and I believe they are probably computing the money in my savings and checking account to her. In contacting the bank, a rep. told me that I would have to make her status P.O.D. and perhaps that would rectify the situation. As it stands now, the account is looked upon as a joint owner. My questions are when I die: 1. Wouldn’t she be in the same predicament again? 2. Couldn’t Social Security deny her benefits again and take away the Medicaid, which is her health benefit, too? She would show a death certificate to the bank to access the funds. Clearly, I do not want the State to have my assets; therefore, what other options do I have in order to assist her after my death? She will need the funds and property to survive
A: She should not have any assets in her name or jointly with yours. You should establish a special needs trust to hold any assets you leave her in your will. That will protect the assets from disqualifying her from her benefits, while at the same time preserving the assets for her benefit and needs.
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