Sylva, NC asked in Family Law and Child Support for North Carolina

Q: My ex died owing over 25,000 in child support. My son is now 18. He died with nothing, will SSA pay benefits?

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1 Lawyer Answer

Sara W. Harrington

Answered
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: As you know, once a supporting parent has died, future support payments die with him.

However, his estate will owe the past-due amount. Once his estate has been opened for probate you or even state child support enforcement agency may file a claim against his estate with the probate court for back child support. The estate will generally have to pay the child support obligation before assets are disbursed to those named in his will.

I understand that you say he owned nothing, but if assets are found and there is no executor, your son can open the estate. If no one opens an estate for your ex within 60 days of his death, you or any other interested party could open the estate.

Because your son is over 18, he would need to be a student or have a disability in order to qualify for Social Security death benefit.

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