I’ve Been Widowed Before the Age of 50, What Social Security Benefits Am I Entitled? Do I Need to Get My Will Notarized?

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“I am 47 years old, was married 13 years and divorced, then remarried and became a widow at 47, we were married 12 years. I am on soc sec disability, I was told I basically cannot be a widow at this age by soc sec. how absured. My daughter who was twelve and from my second marriage died on 12/2/05, then my husband passed on 2/14/06. What help can I get if any. Also, does my will that I wrote only need to be notarized??”

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As near as I can tell, Social Security widow benefits, even for a disabled person, would not kick in until the age of 50 unless that disabled person also has minor children (See e.g. SSA Publication No. 05-10084, July 2006, ICN 46854). So it would seem that under the facts of your situation, Social Security widow benefits might not be available to you for a few years, if at all.

My research shows that a witnessed will does not need to be notarized except in Louisiana. If the will is notarized, it may be easier to validate (“self-proving” document). So while notarization may not be required, it does not hurt. Laws vary from state to state, so consultation with an attorney knowledgeable in estate planning would be a good idea.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.

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