Ask Larry

How Can My Friend's Daughter Get Access To Her Social Security Funds At Wells Fargo Bank?

I am writing on behalf of a retired friend. He married late in life, had 3 children when he began drawing SS retirement benefits in 2010. The 3 kids have received SS monthly deposits into their own savings account, but linked to the father. The kids are now over 18 years old. The family relocated to France in 2010.

The eldest child recently returned to the U.S. for the first time, to begin college, but Wells Fargo will not permit her to withdway any funds, through any means whatsoever. She is not able to pay her first semester tuition as planned. WF doesn't seem to honor the convert from "minor-to-major" procedure.

It gets worse... the father had a stroke a year ago and is unable to mumble more than a few words. He can walk, but controlling arm and hand motions to sign any document is impossible. He cannot verify anything with Wells Fargo over the phone. And he lives in France.

So, there are 11 years of SS deposits locked-away that a former dependent recipient, and now young adult, is unable to use. What to do?

Hi. I wish I had an answer for you, but my expertise is limited to Social Security benefits and this isn't a Social Security issue. I have no special knowledge of banking regulations, but it seems like the bank should be able to tell you what needs to be done in a situation like this. I would suggest trying to reach a bank executive of some sort, rather than a teller. If you still run into a brick wall, you may need to seek legal advice.

Best, Jerry

Aug 26 2021 - 10:44am
MaxiFi software running on a laptop
Get What's Yours!
Discover tens of thousands in extra retirement dollars with Maximize My Social Security software!
  • Find your maximized strategy
  • Unlimited what-ifs
  • Step-by-Step filing instructions
  • Our software's lifetime-benefit increase for an illustrative couple earning $65K each and planning to take retirement benefits at 62.

    Results will differ based on your specific case and filing strategy.

Getting Started is Easy
Web-based software. Works on ALL browsers. No download.
$40 Annual Household License
$299 Annual Financial Advisor License