Baltimore, MD asked in Social Security and Estate Planning for Maryland

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

1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

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.

1 user found this answer helpful

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.