Q: My aunt has Alzheimer’s and has been found mentally unfit. I have been appointed plenary guardian by the court. She is in a nursing home. Her son-in-law had authority to sign checks on her account, but no power of attorney or other authority. He sought to have the Public Administrator appointed as her guardian. I intervened, as she is my aunt and I am willing to act on her behalf, and I was appointed plenary guardian of her person and estate. I have Letters of Appointment. I call to Social Security to ask that her monthly check be moved into a new checking account. I was met with much resistance, and I was told that my paperwork was meaningless. How to proceed? (Bulger, PA)
A: Social Security does not have to deposit the check into your guardian account. The Social Security Administration has its own system which consists of appointed representative payees who receive payments for recipients. It has its own separate application process to become a representative payee. Unfortunately, you must apply. The fact that you are a relative and were appointed by the court as a Guardian will not hurt.