Is it legal for my brother to receive and spend my father’s SSI and pension payments made after my father died?

UPDATED: Mar 2, 2012

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Is it legal for my brother to receive and spend my father’s SSI and pension payments made after my father died?

My brother, who is not executor, received a SSI check for $1,360 and 2 union pension checks in the amount of $924 each; he somehow ended up in possession of my father’s checking account after he died. He has spent the money. Is this legal or is he responsible to pay that money back?

Asked on March 2, 2012 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  What you brother did was not legal and he could get in big trouble.  Aside from the issue of owing the estate money, there is the issue of the ss check which may be owed back to the government depending on when your dad died.  Please seek help here.  You need to find out how his pensions works too.  Good luck.

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