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I’m afraid inflation will eat into my retirement.

I’m planning to retire in a few months and can’t make up my mind on how to take my company pension. 

My wife is 67 and I’m 66 and already retired. Other than Social Security, we won’t have any source of regular monthly income except for stock dividends, bond interest and this pension, should I choose…

An elderly couple sitting on a dock is enjoying the fall weather and joyously throwing up leaves while bundled in cozy sweaters.

It would be wise to hire an estate lawyer to help you in this process. The statute of limitations varies by state after probate has been settled, so time is not your side. It’s a stressful process, and you could risk putting it off indefinitely if you don’t get the ball in motion today.

The term “survivor benefit” usually refers to a spouse who can claim 100% of their spouse’s Social Security, assuming it’s a higher amount, after their death. Your daughter, as an heir, may be entitled to certain benefits and a share of an inheritance, assuming you can prove paternity.

“Within a family, a child can receive up to half of the parent’s full retirement or disability benefits. If a child receives survivors benefits, they can get up to 75% of the deceased parent’s basic Social Security benefit,” according to this detailed guide from the Social Security Administration.

If your daughter does not have a disability, your SSA survivor benefits will stop when they turn 16, the SSA says. If your daughter has a qualifying disability, however, your benefits can continue if you exercise parental control and responsibility for your child. 

There are, of course, scenarios where your daughter may be excluded — if he left a will, specifically excluding your child. But even if he died intestate — without a will — or even if he left a will and never mentioned your child, you could certainly have a claim on his estate.

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