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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Nov 21, 2012.

Question

My father passed 1/31/2012. I am 28 years old and I am the only child born to him. My mom is 58 years old and they were never legally married. they have been together for over 25 years. I heard that Illinois doesn''t recognize common law marriage but I can''t wrap my head around the fact that neither I or my mom will get my fathers social security... no one can get it then? There is no way around this?

Answer

Social Security Survivors benefits apply to the widow, surviving divorced spouse, or minor children. Unfortunately you do not fit in any of these categories. Your mother will have to be legally married to your father to qualify for the widow benefits. Please go visit the Social Security office to see if there are any death benefits available to your family.

Have you looked into any life insurance your father may have? Did he have Group Term Life insurance through his work? Did he have any paid up life insurance? Was your father receiving a pension and are there any survivor benefits?

Did your father''s estate go through probate?

Please consult with an Probate & Estate Attorney to make sure your father's estate was properly settled and if there is anything for you and your mother. Since you are the only issue, any property should be passing to you.

I am sorry about your loss and good luck!


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