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Feb. 27 2015

Don’t Let Your Estate Planning Documents Make You a Target for Identity Theft

By Steve Elville | Posted in Estate Planning | Comments Off on Don’t Let Your Estate Planning Documents Make You a Target for Identity Theft

Author:  Verena Meiser, Esq., Senior Associate—verena@elvilleassociates.com


Again and again, I meet with clients whose estate planning documents list their birthdates, names and social security numbers on the first page.  Since there is no need to include a social security number on any estate planning document, the practice of doing so represents unnecessary exposure and could easily make you the victim of identity theft.  For example, someone may take your social security number from your Durable Power of Attorney or your Advance Directive, as your agents use these documents during periods of your disability.  Such a thief could then misuse your social security number to commit medical, banking, tax or any other form of identity fraud.  Even following your death, someone who would otherwise not get to see your social security number could take it from your Will and try to claim a refund on your final income tax return.  Crooks are quick, creative and resourceful.   Why should your estate planning documents give them such easy access to valuable information?  Have a look at your estate planning documents.  If they include this information, discuss your concerns with your estate planning attorney.



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Elville & Associates engages clients in a multi-step educational process to ensure that estate and elder law planning works from inception, throughout lifetime, and at death. Clients are encouraged to take advantage of the Planning Team Concept for leading edge, customized planning. Legal Services Include: Wills, Trusts, Estate Tax Planning, Powers of Attorney, Living Wills/Advance Medical Directives, Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts, Medicaid Planning and Qualification, Estate Administration, Fiduciary Representation, Nursing Home Selection, Guardianships, Special Needs Planning for children and adults, Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and IRS tax controversy.

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