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  1. #1
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    Post What killed my Dad?

    Hello DR1,

    My case is probably not uncommon but I can't believe this is happening in my family. I was born and raised in D.R and brought to the U.S by my mom before turning 18. I have four genetic siblings(two older and two younger) and two half siblings my late father had with a second marriage he had divorced just prior his death.

    About 3 years ago my mid 60s father suddenly died in circumstances me and my closest siblings don't know and have no documented proofs yet. My oldest siblings do know and have access to this information... herein the issue. Right after the funeral some family members approached me and warned me not leave D.R before getting death certificates. I asked for this certificate to my dad's ex-wife and older siblings only to be aggressively dismissed.

    Some of the few details I've been able to gather is that my late father's ex-wife was able to get access to pension funds and other assets of my dad. Interestingly... one my older siblings has had a sudden increase of assets in D.R. I'm having to spend resources next year to make sure I clarify this situation for me and my siblings.

    Due to my older sibling's obfuscation in conjunction with my late father's ex wife's(she's a lawyer) me and my closest siblings have been completely excluded from any post death matters. Me and my younger siblings have not had any participation or consultations on these matters. The argument being given by my older sibling and Dad's ex-wife is that there's nothing to worry about with anything because my dad "had nothing and left nothing" when I'm just asking for documentation.

    I'm I being paranoid or are my concerns valid?

    So far I've only received threats and insults from my older siblings and their acolytes for daring to simply ask stuff like; What killed my Dad?

  2. #2
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    Condolences on the loss of your Dad.

    After 3 years, you probably won't find out much about how the death happened. Sad but true. Grieve for your Dad, that's the best you can do.

    You really need a good attorney in the DR. They can at least find out how the property was split up.

    You must know where he was receiving a pension from? Have a lawyer in that country contact them. The Pension Plan managers have a fiduciary responsibility to your Dad regarding the payout. Was everything done (or being done currently if monthly payouts) correctly? Is it being disbursed monthly or was it a lump sum payout?

    Any monies already paid out, consider them gone. It's not worth the trouble, financially and emotionally to try to recoup them int he DR. And maybe even for your physical safety. Good luck.

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  4. #3
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    I can tell you from experience that when my father died and i was about to leave the island to go back to work, i told a group of Dominican relatives and friends that were sitting with me around a poker table of about 15-people, that i was just waiting on his death certificate in order to let the Social Security office know that he died and to stop his "Automatic" payments into his Dominican Banco Popular account (I shared the account with him).

    When they heard me say this, it was the first time i saw real horror on my Dominican relatives faces. They screamed, they shouted, they threw things, they fell onto the floor and flopped around like a dead fish. It turns out that many of them were collecting Social Security checks from dead relatives who had passed away, and like me, they had access to their bank accounts (any relative or friend can be added to the same joint account very easily--it's a Dollar account).

    So, what's going on here is not necessarily that your father had much assets (although he may have), but that his Social Security check is still rolling into his Dominican account on the 3rd of every month and people are living the high life as a direct result.

    If i was you, i would contact Social Security and alert them to his death. His account will eventually be ceased/frozen while they investigate if he is alive or not. Once it is determined that he is dead, the checks will stop....and you will see a lot of unhappy people!

    But, keeping this in mind, I heard from a relative that when their father was requested to appear at the US embassy to confirm his status, they simply sent his brother (who knew all of his details--SS#, Birth Date, last addresses, places of work, etc.) and the checks kept on flowing. The father today would be something like 120yrs old, and i think his family is still receiving his SS checks.

    Frank

  5. #4
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    Social Security is inherited by any existing spouse or ex spouse as the case maybe as well as by children.

    There are certain qualifications that have to be met. Age, insurance, is the survivor working, etc.

    Funerals are a great study. Everyone grieving on the outside while waiting to collect money on the inside.

    Your mom is entitled to a percentage of his social security based in the length of their marriage.

    I doubt she can access any pension money.

    You should call Social Security and ask them what's going on with your fathers benefits. Typically, they get sent the death notice and automatically reapportion out any benefits as the case maybe.

    As a child, you are entitled to any and all documents and information about the death and any estate.

    Since you are being stonewalled you need to engage an attorney and have them start making inquiries and perhaps court orders and summons.

    Its ugly business but nobody will protect you but yourself.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljmesg View Post
    Social Security is inherited by any existing spouse or ex spouse as the case maybe as well as by children.

    There are certain qualifications that have to be met. Age, insurance, is the survivor working, etc.

    Funerals are a great study. Everyone grieving on the outside while waiting to collect money on the inside.

    Your mom is entitled to a percentage of his social security based in the length of their marriage.

    I doubt she can access any pension money.

    You should call Social Security and ask them what's going on with your fathers benefits. Typically, they get sent the death notice and automatically reapportion out any benefits as the case maybe.

    As a child, you are entitled to any and all documents and information about the death and any estate.

    Since you are being stonewalled you need to engage an attorney and have them start making inquiries and perhaps court orders and summons.

    Its ugly business but nobody will protect you but yourself.
    Sorry for the loss of your father - That was a severe blow to our family to lose the Patriarch.

    Children can receive benefits, if they are minors, but believe me the wife will get a very small survivor contribution. I think my mom's was about 1/3 of my dad's SS check.
    I would think any US citizen's death which is reported to the Embassy gets reported to the SS office. (if they are citizens - but they don't need to be citizens to collect).

    If a sibling or child reports to the SS office that a person has died, checks should be withheld and the recipient must appear at a SS office or a letter from a physician or medical facility must be provided.

    I doubt a brother appearing at a US Embassy would work, they refer you to the SSA Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) in Santo Domingo and, although the Embassy takes reports of death of a citizen - I was not aware they handle anything that could involve investigation of potential SS fraud. But who knows - they are after all a federal agency and they seem to encourage fraud it seems.

    There was a video on Detras Del Rumor several years ago where a middle age man was killed on his motorcycle after striking a cow. His wife came on the scene and was kneeling next to his body and crying, all the while she was going through his pockets. Of course maybe she was smart to check before the body was removed, but it is more than likely if he had anything of value those who first arrived on the scene would have already beaten her to it.

    But it would not surprise me that Dominican relatives would try to game the SS system, even after a death. I am sure there are more than one case.

  7. #6
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    First of all, the OP said her mother took her to the USA, everyone is assuming the father lived and worked there too, but it sounds like he never left DR. When a husband collecting SS dies, the wife is entitled to his check. When my dad died, his SS was more than hers, so she gave up hers and collected his the last 6 years of her life. Children under 18 get survivors benefits, if they are permanently disabled (physically or mentally) they can collect over that age.

    Meanwhile, I can tell you we know a lot of poor Dominicans in our campo, really dirt poor, but they own land that is worth quite a bit.

    Your best bet is to hire an attorney, or if you prefer online since you’re not in DR, check out https://drsisterhoodwordpress.wordpress.com/ They have attorneys who have helped others with this same problem.
    Last edited by AlterEgo; 12-17-2018 at 10:38 AM.




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  9. #7
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    Some information here is not quite correct.

    Let's back up to my father...

    When my father died and i reported his death to SS office in the USA, i had to send in his death certificate. My mother, his ex-wife, had to prove that they had been married for at least 10-years. She did that, and in so doing, she was able to collect the "difference" between her check and his check. The difference was only $50. So, her check increased by $50 a month. End of story.

    Secondly, even if my father would have remarried in the DR (he didn't), i was told his Dominican wife would only be able to collect his check if they had been married for longer than ??? X-amount of years (I don't remember how many).

    Thirdly, I personally knew of Dominican families collecting their dead relatives SS checks after they had died in the DR, and hence, their deaths were never reported to the US Embassy or SS office.

    Frank

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  11. #8
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    Hire a decent lawyer, get a copy of the death certificate then contact the social security
    office to see just how deep the rabbit hole goes with this one. Good luck.

  12. #9
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    If a spouse dies, the other spouse is entitled to receive the larger of the two S.S. benefit payments.

    The surviving Dominican spouse is not a citizen, he/she must have lived in the US for 5 years while married in order to collect survivor benefits.

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  14. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavok View Post
    If a spouse dies, the other spouse is entitled to receive the larger of the two S.S. benefit payments.

    The surviving Dominican spouse is not a citizen, he/she must have lived in the US for 5 years while married in order to collect survivor benefits.
    need to take a look at
    https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home%2Fhandbo...book-1845.html
    https://maximizemysocialsecurity.com...not-us-citizen

    The non citizen spouse could be eligible under the exemption without having lived i the USA

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