At Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey, our skilled estate planning attorneys consider all possibilities to give you and your family financial peace of mind. For example, many people are unaware of the spousal Social Security benefits available after their loved one’s death. Here’s a fact that might surprise you: if both you and your spouse worked all of your adult lives, your monthly and annual benefits for Social Security could potentially double. This brief overview explains more.

How Spousal Social Security Benefits Work

In the unfortunate event of a spouse’s death, the surviving partner continues to receive the Social Security benefits to which the deceased was entitled. This is true if the decedent was receiving more in Social Security benefits than the surviving spouse. Also, if a spouse continues to care for a child younger than 16, or any child who has a disability prior to the age of 22, that spouse is entitled to an additional 50 percent of the deceased spouse’s benefits.

A divorced spouse may be entitled to benefits as early as age 62 if they were married for at least 10 years. Divorced spouses are normally entitled to the same benefits as spouses, but the former partner may receive more financial protection, since the benefits for divorced spouses aren’t subject to the maximum family benefit. However, this benefit for the divorced spouse terminates if they remarry. 

They can receive benefits if their former spouse is at least 62, whether retired or not, or if the former spouse is receiving Social Security disability benefits. If you’re 62 but not retired, then you must have been divorced at least two years before the divorced spouse can receive benefits.

It’s important to be aware of the spousal Social Security benefits to which you are entitled. Although they might not seem like much at first, they can certainly contribute to your long-term strategy to plan ahead for future financial security. Don’t hesitate to contact an attorney if you have any questions.

Do You Need to Speak to an Experienced Central Kentucky Attorney?

For nearly half a century, Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Humphrey has been one of the most respected firms in the region for providing families with the essential financial and legal knowledge they need to thrive. We serve clients throughout Central Kentucky, including Hardin County, Meade County, LaRue County, Breckinridge County, and Grayson County. Please contact our office to schedule a consultation.