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My mother died and I was rep payee for SSA. There are funds left over in her account. What do I do with them after all bills are paid?

SS is like a paycheck, you get the money after u have done the job.

So, January payment (that you get according to when ur birthday is) is December's money. If Mom died in late December and the January check comes, she is not entitled to it and they we pull it from her account eventually. If she died in January, then she is entitled to that check but not February's.
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If she did not live the entire month, then SSA will clawback that months payment. SSA was pretty efficient after my mom’s death. She died almost EoM, so got her next regular 3rd of the mo payment and SSA did the clawback around the 20th of the month after death and no more payments. She also had federal civil service pension and they too paid the next month but took like 3 months to do the clawback.

Regarding $ left in her bank account once any clawback is done, if there is a will and there are other assets (house, land, car) as well as $ in a bank account, you will need to do some sort of probate court action to transfer or distribute the assets in her name. For probate it’s all going to be very much what your state laws allow for. Some have simple small estates affidavits, other have “muniment of title” process, other require full blown probate. You may or may not need an atty. To me imo, it’s really depends on your states laws, what the assets are and you own comfort level in dealing with Paperwork filings at a courthouse.

If theres no valid will, so no named Executor, it’s going to be sticky as your going to have to deal with whatever lineal heir system your state requires and you will in my experience need an atty.

Now if there’s no assets but only $ in a bank account, if the account was POD (pay on death) to you, then it can all be paid to you.

But if she didn’t do that, after a certain period of time, bank required to turns $ over to State Treasury Dept. They in turn hold it for whatever period of time as per state law and then you can - as a heir - file for “unclaimed funds”. Just how done should be on your Secretary of the State Treasury dept. website. If it’s not that much money, it might not be worth opening probate and paying for an atty., plus filing fees, etc. but instead just wait it out to go unclaimed funds process.

As an aside on the above, I’m in New Orleans and after Hurricane Katrina there were thousands upon thousands of unclaimed funds that went to State Treasury dept. Insurance checks, utility deposit refunds, old paychecks, tax refunds, bank account left untouched, etc. Folks moved states away, homes gone, mail undeliverable. State Treasurer John Kennedy (now our Jr Senator) did a huge PR campaign to get unclaimed funds back to families. Published lists in newspapers all over, did radio & TV blitz and set up refund sites in malls across the state. This had never ever been done before as usually state doesn’t want it claimed so that it goes to states general funds. Kennedy was like “if it’s yours or your mommas we want you to git it”.... he does this I’m just a old Louisiana country boy routine even tho’ he is Vanderbilt and Oxford educated smart as a whip. Our areas was in Lakeside Mall in Metairie and the lines were out the door. All you need was some sort of reasonable documentation that it was you or it was your parents $ and the state cut you a check. My point is, if just $, you might can wait it out & do an unclaimed funds approach.
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Isthisrealyreal Jan 30, 2019
As always, really good advise Igloo572.
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I would leave them alone for a couple of months, sometimes SSA pays and then takes the payment back based on when the person died.

After it is clear that they haven't over paid then it is distributed through her will and probate. If no will existed then the probate judge makes the determination. It is a lengthy process. There is a minimum estate value that doesn't go through probate, find out from your court house what that figure is, so you can know how to proceed.

I am sorry for your loss.
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