Could Anything Be Done To Prevent My Mother's Ex-Husband From Getting Benefits On Her Record?

Jul 3 2017 - 11:48am

Mother died of cancer a 2 yrs. ago. She had no will, but made her adult daughter 'power of attorney'. Mother was divorced from step-father for 6 yrs. They had been married 10 yrs.! Step-father immediately started collecting dead ex-wife's social security.
1.. Would it have made a difference if mother had a will to challenge his actions?
2. Does the natural born daughter (power of attorney) have any legal rights to her mother's social security? The mother would not have wanted this to happen!
Or does the the man who treated mother like garbage and then collects her social security benefits by obtaining her death certificate & collecting?

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

No, you can't deprive someone of receiving Social Security benefits on your record based on a will or through appointment of a power of attorney. Whether or not a person qualifies for surviving divorced spousal benefits is based simply on whether or not they meet the requirements established in the Social Security Act: https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.04/handbook-0403.html.

Best, Jerry