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The place where my mother gets her pension keeps depositing $1,750 a month into her checking account even though she died last October and I "closed" the account in December. The bank says the account stays open as long as they keep making deposits. I've been trying to contact the pension administrator off and on for the last month to take care of it but most often his voicemail is full or he doesn't return my call or if he does I'm not in. If they are too stupid not to care it doesn't bother me but I want to do her final tax return(6 month extension filed) but the pension statement reflects payments she got after she died until the end of the year that I want them to correct. Any suggestions? The bank has a hold on the account so I couldn't touch the money if I wanted to even though I know eventually they will want it back.

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mail and fax the death certificate to their office. if you get a hold of them, they are going to ask for you to send that anyways...

stop calling and leaving voicemails

Send a certified letter to the head of the company directly

Also let him know how this employee is unresponsive

What's the problem?

JTFH said: What's the problem?

Eventually, they will want the money back.

I was just thinking about a similar scenario the other day. When a retired person dies, whose responsibility is it to tell the government to stop sending social security checks?

Skyvue said: I was just thinking about a similar scenario the other day. When a retired person dies, whose responsibility is it to tell the government to stop sending social security checks?

Usually the funeral home / director does that (or can do that for a fee).

sloth911 said: JTFH said: What's the problem?

Eventually, they will want the money back.


But you get to keep the interest. And heck, if the money is gone from the account, they can sue the dead lady for their money.

Skyvue said: I was just thinking about a similar scenario the other day. When a retired person dies, whose responsibility is it to tell the government to stop sending social security checks?
It is my understanding that SSA gets a daily report of all the SSN's of dead people from funeral homes and state death certificates. This information is also somehow shared by social security with the three credit reporting agencies. There was a thread a few years ago about someone who was "dead" in the credit reports and couldn't transact on his bank accounts even though he was physically alive. A call to social security eventually cleared it up and I think the guy received a small settlement from the funeral director who mistyped the social security number.
Still if the checks come for more than 1 month, I would send a letter, certified, that the person is dead. At that point you have done your duty, and likely won't face jail time. But they can still come back at any point and demand the money back.

chan101qua said: sloth911 said: JTFH said: What's the problem?

Eventually, they will want the money back.


But you get to keep the interest. And heck, if the money is gone from the account, they can sue the dead lady for their money.


It's a checking account that earns no interest. And no, they will sue ME as it's a POD account with my name on it.

If you could get rid of the body, couldn't you keep collecting indefinitely... then when the deceased gets to be about 98 just say they wandered off and file a missing persons?

I'd be surprised if someone wasn't doing this.

JTFH said: If you could get rid of the body, couldn't you keep collecting indefinitely... then when the deceased gets to be about 98 just say they wandered off and file a missing persons?

I'd be surprised if someone wasn't doing this.


Sounds like a good way to be falsely accused of murder.

biomedeng said: Skyvue said: I was just thinking about a similar scenario the other day. When a retired person dies, whose responsibility is it to tell the government to stop sending social security checks?
It is my understanding that SSA gets a daily report of all the SSN's of dead people from funeral homes and state death certificates. This information is also somehow shared by social security with the three credit reporting agencies. There was a thread a few years ago about someone who was "dead" in the credit reports and couldn't transact on his bank accounts even though he was physically alive. A call to social security eventually cleared it up and I think the guy received a small settlement from the funeral director who mistyped the social security number.
Still if the checks come for more than 1 month, I would send a letter, certified, that the person is dead. At that point you have done your duty, and likely won't face jail time. But they can still come back at any point and demand the money back.


If I am assuming the person that passed away was single, who would go to jail for not reporting he was dead? What I was hinting at is there some sort of inherited responsibility to the children or trustee to make sure this happens? In theory, nobody would be benefiting from not reporting because the checks would keep getting direct deposited into a checking account for months or years until somebody noticed.

Skyvue said: If I am assuming the person that passed away was single, who would go to jail for not reporting he was dead? What I was hinting at is there some sort of inherited responsibility to the children or trustee to make sure this happens? In theory, nobody would be benefiting from not reporting because the checks would keep getting direct deposited into a checking account for months or years until somebody noticed.
I am not quite sure I understand your senario. Even a single person with no family who dies will likely have a death certificate filed with the state. Unlike many of its other task (such as stopping false diability claims) SSA is quite good at monitoring all death reports. Private pensions are another matter. It likely depends on the size of the company if they monitor death reports. The one relative I had die recently we just called the company and asked them to stop the direct deposits. They agreed without requiring us to send in any documentation.
Another possibility is that the death reports are also somehow picked up by credit bureaus and also somehow picked up by the banks. In the old thread the guy who was listed as dead by a typo could no longer transact on his bank account. I am guessing the bank very well could report the presence of continued direct deposits on a dead person's account.
I guess if you can keep the body from being discovered by a government agency or you damage the body so badly it is not identifiable there will be no death certificate issued and then you can keep collecting the person's money.
Sort of related, I found a searchable database on Ancestry.com: http://ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com/. Seems to be updated daily.

In Illinois, when a loved one passed away, the ICU told us it was a federal requirement that they needed to inform both Social Security, and Organ+Tissue. (He had cancer, so it was some sort of automated rejection for the second).

There was some moribund humor suitable for FW:
One of the relatives told the nurse that he couldn't die yet because his medicare card wasn't on file.
That's one way I think we all could cheat death; thank god for bureaucrats.

There have been cases where someone was just "buried"/corpse disposed of, and they keep collecting SS, and not only do they have to pay back w/ interest, they face prosecution for fraud too. I think it was on cops?

sloth911 said: JTFH said: What's the problem?

Eventually, they will want the money back.


True.

But from whom?

Dead mother?

Take care of this matter now. Continuing to collect someone's pension benefits (assuming you don't have survivor rights) is illegal. And collecting someone's Social Security benefits after their death is a federal crime and one that is rather easy to prove and to prosecute. You're in for a heap of trouble if you continue to collect benefits you aren't due. Follow SIS's advice and start sending certified letters ASAP.

An interesting scenario here.

Suppose someone is collecting pension. Makes a trip (for business or pleasure), and then is reported missing.

He is never found.

Is the pension going to be paid indefinitely?

Before you speculate or express opinions, think of the following. Life insurance will never pay without a death certificate. So why should a pension stop paying without a death certificate.

When we have a relative pass, the next of kin or personal rep or trustee sends a notification letter to all creditors and agencies, including credit bureaus, insurance companies, and income generators (pension/ss/banks/cus). Most all of these organizations will want a copy or a certified copy of the death certificate.

This allows them to lock down the ss#, and to send final bills for the person's estate to the estate's address.

OP, has the relative's employer been notified? IF not, have the personal rep or trustee notify them, and the pension checks will stop. Do not call them, write them (Return Receipt or certified).

Send a letter saying that you have informed them that these payments are in error and that if the payments do not cease within 30 days you will deem their intention to permanently and irrevocably transfer ownership of these monies to you personally.

Crazytree said: Send a letter saying that you have informed them that these payments are in error and that if the payments do not cease within 30 days you will deem their intention to permanently and irrevocably transfer ownership of these monies to you personally.That is not true with SS payments. Those funds can and will be taken back.

JTFH said: If you could get rid of the body, couldn't you keep collecting indefinitely... then when the deceased gets to be about 98 just say they wandered off and file a missing persons?

I'd be surprised if someone wasn't doing this.




how are you convincing yourself that this is anything other than a crime?

dont get me wrong, I try to take advantage of deals and situations. You seem to have crossed the line here from taking advantage of a situation and into how to plan a crime, without being aware of it.

biomedeng said:
It is my understanding that SSA gets a daily report of all the SSN's of dead people from funeral homes and state death certificates. This information is also somehow shared by social security with the three credit reporting agencies. There was a thread a few years ago about someone who was "dead" in the credit reports and couldn't transact on his bank accounts even though he was physically alive. A call to social security eventually cleared it up and I think the guy received a small settlement from the funeral director who mistyped the social security number.
Still if the checks come for more than 1 month, I would send a letter, certified, that the person is dead. At that point you have done your duty, and likely won't face jail time. But they can still come back at any point and demand the money back.


Is there any easy way for the public to get access to this list? Or maybe a service that alerts you when a particular individual dies?

EndlessKnight said: biomedeng said:
It is my understanding that SSA gets a daily report of all the SSN's of dead people from funeral homes and state death certificates. This information is also somehow shared by social security with the three credit reporting agencies. There was a thread a few years ago about someone who was "dead" in the credit reports and couldn't transact on his bank accounts even though he was physically alive. A call to social security eventually cleared it up and I think the guy received a small settlement from the funeral director who mistyped the social security number.
Still if the checks come for more than 1 month, I would send a letter, certified, that the person is dead. At that point you have done your duty, and likely won't face jail time. But they can still come back at any point and demand the money back.


Is there any easy way for the public to get access to this list? Or maybe a service that alerts you when a particular individual dies?

Check the previous post I made listing the ancestry dot com site of the social security death index. I was able to pull up some of my relatives that died over 30 years ago, but no one I have known has died recently. It seems to be updated july 7, so I guess it runs a few days behind.

gwu1986 said: When we have a relative pass, the next of kin or personal rep or trustee sends a notification letter to all creditors and agencies, including credit bureaus, insurance companies, and income generators (pension/ss/banks/cus). Most all of these organizations will want a copy or a certified copy of the death certificate.

This allows them to lock down the ss#, and to send final bills for the person's estate to the estate's address.

I do not believe all of this is necessary, and in my experience it is not necessary to send a death certificate to get pension payments to stop. In our most recent family death I helped an older relative manage several things. However, I have since read quite a bit about this and it is my understanding that social security and the credit bureaus all know automatically with days of someone dying. Therefore it is a waste of your time to contact them. Also when I called social security on the phone for this relative (24 hours after the death) they willingly stopped the payments when I supplied the social security number. They did not require a death certificate. Perhaps they knew it would show up in the automated system. Private company paying the pension did not require the death certificate either. With this relative we just watched her mail and begain paying bills and closing accounts. We went to the bank in person and told them that the relative had died, but since the account was joint with her sister the sister asked the account to be kept open so we could continue to pay bills. The bank said they would flag the account as having had one of the co-owners being dead (in case someone else tried to transact on the account in her name). No death certificate was required, most likely because there was a living joint owner. Only thing we needed a death certificate for was to collect her life insurance.

Edit to add that I found the old thread where the OP had his SSN accidently entered into the death index. You can read it and see how it really messed up his finances for a short time. http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/arcmessageview.php?catid=52&threadid=891558

EndlessKnight said: biomedeng said:
It is my understanding that SSA gets a daily report of all the SSN's of dead people from funeral homes and state death certificates. This information is also somehow shared by social security with the three credit reporting agencies. There was a thread a few years ago about someone who was "dead" in the credit reports and couldn't transact on his bank accounts even though he was physically alive. A call to social security eventually cleared it up and I think the guy received a small settlement from the funeral director who mistyped the social security number.
Still if the checks come for more than 1 month, I would send a letter, certified, that the person is dead. At that point you have done your duty, and likely won't face jail time. But they can still come back at any point and demand the money back.


Is there any easy way for the public to get access to this list? Or maybe a service that alerts you when a particular individual dies?


Yes, it's called the Obituaries.

JTFH said: If you could get rid of the body, couldn't you keep collecting indefinitely... then when the deceased gets to be about 98 just say they wandered off and file a missing persons?

I'd be surprised if someone wasn't doing this.


It's called a deep chest freezer in the basement.

time to put grandpa's funeral cost on a payment plan deducted monthly from his checking account. That way, there won't be a burden on the family after he passes away.

What is she believed in reincarnation. Wouldn't the moral thing to do is keep the money for her new body shell ?

atikovi said: The bank has a hold on the account so I couldn't touch the money if I wanted to even though I know eventually they will want it back.

Why is the bank holding the account? The executor of your mother's estate should have access to it. If it is you, then you should have access to it. If it is somebody else, then it should be that person's responsibility to handle the pension and account closing.

aleck said: atikovi said: The bank has a hold on the account so I couldn't touch the money if I wanted to even though I know eventually they will want it back.

Why is the bank holding the account? The executor of your mother's estate should have access to it. If it is you, then you should have access to it. If it is somebody else, then it should be that person's responsibility to handle the pension and account closing.


I closed the account in December but because they keep sending checks it stays open. I guess there is a hold on it because I closed it.

Here's what I would do, and I'm not sure its 100% right.

1) Have some type of proof that I told them the person passed. Certified mail is great for that.
2) Don't touch the cash in the account and just leave it.
3) If they come looking for the money, tell them to talk to the bank.
4) Don't worry.

Heh, based on the title this looked like a FWF How-to thread

scrouds said: Here's what I would do, and I'm not sure its 100% right.

1) Have some type of proof that I told them the person passed. Certified mail is great for that.
2) Don't touch the cash in the account and just leave it.
3) If they come looking for the money, tell them to talk to the bank.
4) Don't worry.


Her 1099R reflects payments she got after she died and for which tax is due. Eventually the pension will take the money back and I'll have to go through hoops to get the taxes paid on that money back from the IRS.

mainomega said: What is she believed in reincarnation. Wouldn't the moral thing to do is keep the money for her new body shell ?

Wasn't there a 'bank' that promised to hold your money until your reincarnated self came to reclaim them?

Skyvue said: I was just thinking about a similar scenario the other day. When a retired person dies, whose responsibility is it to tell the government to stop sending social security checks?

It think the government makes a lump benefit/payment upon death. The REAL REASON for this money is to give family an incentive to inform the government that the deceased is deceased so they can stop sending checks.

Without this, NANA would often be wrapped in a blanket and kept in the boat house for years.

By the way , whenever you hear a story of a person being kept in the basement for numerous years----------> Its not that the family is crazy, it to keep the pension and social security checks coming. Often one disabilty or pension check is keeping an entire family going.

"Mama would have wanted to help me to pay off my credit cards."

patch96 said: Skyvue said: I was just thinking about a similar scenario the other day. When a retired person dies, whose responsibility is it to tell the government to stop sending social security checks?

It think the government makes a lump benefit/payment upon death. The REAL REASON for this money is to give family an incentive to inform the government that the deceased is deceased so they can stop sending checks.

I don't know what lump payment you are speaking of, but I know social security gives a $255 death benefit to surviving spouses or children. I am guessing that the monetary benefit of receiving extra payments after the person dies, even for 1-2 months, far exceeds the $255 benefit. It is my understanding that most living people on social security get more than $255 a month.

atikovi said: The bank has a hold on the accountwhy does the bank have a Hold on the account?

I work in the IT department of a BIG Pension Company, and I am responsible to upload the list of SSNs of people (from the Federal government internal website) who died in the previous month to our system, so that the pension payouts can be stopped, and a letter is send to the next kin regarding the benefit amount, if eligible.

Skipping 11 Messages...
Crazytree said: geo123 said: Crazytree said: gwu1986 said: Crazytree said: Send a letter saying that you have informed them that these payments are in error and that if the payments do not cease within 30 days you will deem their intention to permanently and irrevocably transfer ownership of these monies to you personally.That is not true with SS payments. Those funds can and will be taken back.Where is Social Security mentioned?Are you the one behind some of the crazy letters that banks are receiving from people that state that the letter is a "self-executing contract" and that the bank is now irrevocably deemed to have agreed to owe the person $1MM?

There is no such thing as a "self-executing contract," just like a letter saying that "if the payments do not cease within 30 days you will deem their intention to permanently and irrevocably transfer ownership of these monies to you personally" is a waste of postage. The OP just needs to follow SiS's advice above and formally notify the company about the death. He is not going to profit by sending out letters telling the company that it is deemed to have agreed not to pursue recovery of the funds.

P.S.
In case of the crazy "self-executing contract" letters, our litigators have jokingly offered to send back a "self-executing release" that would say that the person permanently and irrevocably drops any and all claims against the bank. If the person thinks that the first "self-executing contract" is somehow enforceable, and he must or he/she wouldn't be wasting time and postgage sending out all that nonsence, the person should believe that the "self-executing release" whereby he/she drops all claims against the bank is also enforceable, which should conclude the matter
Q: Aaren't you the one who told us all you could self-execute a release from criminal prosecution on a mortgage application by means of handwritten caveat before you were laughed out of the thread in question?

A: Yes.
Seriously? For those who are curious, here is the thread from 2006 when Crazytree was posting as ArbolLoco -- take a look at my post from October 27, 2006 at 1:46pm. As I explained there, "Crossing out matters that a person disagrees with and/or refuses to certify to has been and remains a standard procedure everywhere. We even sometimes do it in multi-million dollar transactions when there is no time to change the offending language." This is about as axiomatic as things get. By the way, that post received massive green at the time and it's one of the most obvious things out there.

Now that you've unsuccessfully tried to divert people's attention from your asinine statement here, would you like to explain to me how the OP can bind a company by telling it that it is deemed to have agreed not to pursue recovery of the funds? I'm sure that you'd love to show us that you are right and I am wrong, so let's hear it

Here is the way these types of things work, which I would think would be self evident. If you are presented with an AT&T cell phone contract for a 2 year term, you always have the option of crossing out "2 years" and handwriting in "1 year" or "1 day." AT&T is obviously under no obligation to accept it. If, for whatever reason, it accepts it or misses the handwritten change, it will not be able to later claim that you've agreed to a 2 year term.

Likewise, if you enter into a contract with your credit card company whereby you agree that it may change future contractual terms by mailing you notice thereof and, if you do not opt out within the specified period, you will be deemed to have accepted the change, they will be able to later amend the contract in this manner (provided, of course, that you can't successfully claim that the change is unconscionable, violates public policy, etc...). Again, the reason that "deemed acceptance" would work in this case is only because you previously agreed that the contract can be amended in this manner.

Under no circumstances, however, would a third party with whom you have no preexisting contractual relationship that provides for "deemed acceptance" ever be able to bind you to anything by sending you a letter telling you that unless you do something, you are bound by the terms of the letter. If you do not currently have an American Express card, AMEX can't send you a letter telling you that unless you affirmatively object within the next 30 days, you will be deemed to have accepted its credit card with a $500/year fee. You also don't get to send a letter to AMEX telling it that unless it objects within X number of days, it will be deemed to irrevocably owe you $1MM. Likewise, there is no possible way for the OP to bind the pension company by following your suggestion and telling it that unless it does something within 30 days, it will be deemed to have agreed not to pursue recovery of the funds. Is this really not obvious?



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