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Can Rep Payee Name Themselves As Beneficiary?

Question: 
Can the Representative Payee on an account name themselves as the beneficiary of the account, if the owner of the account wants them to be the beneficiary?
Answer: 

by Ken Golliher:

No, the representative payee has no ownership interest in the account. All the government agency that named the representative payee can do is give that individual power to spend the funds on behalf of the person entitled to the benefit.

However, the person entitled to the benefit can name a POD beneficiary if he or she has the legal capacity to do so. (Some representative payee accounts are established on behalf of minors. Some are established on behalf of people who are mentally or physically incompetent.)

Answer: 

by John Burnett:

A Representative Payee opens an account as the bank's customer, with a duty imposed by the SSA to use the funds sent by the SSA to the Rep Payee account for the person entitled to the benefit. The person entitled to the benefit is not the bank's customer and cannot designate a POD beneficiary for the account, in my opinion, whether or not he or she is legally competent.

First published on 09/23/2018

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