Reasons why I should NOT give my ex-husband my SS number?

I have been divorced for 6 yrs. My two daughters are grown, so they don’t really enter into this picture. My ex- and I have had very loose contact over the years. Yesterday he texted me to ask for my SS number. When I asked why, he said it was so he could leave me some money when he dies. (he has had some health problems lately). Is there any reason I should NOT give it to him? I’m thinking that he could get it from past tax returns if he really wanted to - I just don’t want to do something stupid - thanks!

Since this potentially involves legal advice, let’s move it over to IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

Since when do wills require Social Security numbers?

Do you trust him? If the answer is not a resounding yes, don’t do it. Even assuming he’s on the level, when the times comes they’ll find you for the info.

Wills don’t but designating a beneficiary to a retirement fund or investment account might.

If you were married over 10 years he would be entitled to your social security # anyway for social security purposes. If one spouses benefits are less than 50% of what the other spouses are they can collect the larger amount without affecting the spouse making the higher benefits

I’m probably going to be the one that will be able to use HIS SS (he’s made far more than I over his lifetime)(and besides…I have his SS memorized!).
I don’t think he wants it for a will - I think perhaps he IS designating beneficiaries in retirement accounts, etc. I know when I have had to do that, they make it pretty difficult to designate without having that person’s SS number - automated forms won’t let you continue without it, in fact.
Thanks for your thoughts everyone…

If you’re inclined to give it to him, do so in a phone call, not as a text, in case it’s someone else texting you from his phone.

Because you don’t want to admit having been a Nazi?

Seriously, do things like life insurance policies typically ask for the social security number of the beneficiary? I’d think they’d have to use some form of unambiguous ID like that.

One of my work benefits is a life insurance thing - it’s either a year or two years of my salary, I forget. Anyway, we switched providers and I had to come up with three goddamned beneficiaries including SS numbers in case the first two died in a plane crash or whatever. And they would not let up about it and I absolutely had to provide the numbers.

SS #'s are required for all kinds of mundane crap these days. From everything you’ve posted it sounds like a perfectly legitimate request unless there is some reason you have to doubt his good veracity and faith and you have not posted anything indicating that.

My dad took my social security number. It’s not so much for wills but the bank account is to go directly to me, and the bank asked for my SS #. I felt the same thing, a little hesitant, but I went ahead and did it. Hell, the man is trying to do something nice for me, I don’t want to be a total jerk.

I don’t think you need a SSN to leave someone money. At least, I’ve never heard that before.

As has already been stated, work place forms for beneficiaries of life insurance and retirement accounts ask for SSNs. This has nothing to do with wills. The forms will also ask for the nature of the relationship. The reason, obviously, is so that they don’t have to deal with multiple John Smiths who could have claim to the funds. There is only one John Smith with a given ss number but also only one who is your nephew.

HR folks who insist on getting the SSN are being overly officious. It’s not required; it just makes things easier should something horrible happen.

My granny needed my SSN when she added me as a POD (Payable on Death) to her CDs.

That being said, while there is a bit of a risk in divulging your SSN to anyone you don’t trust, an ex-spouse probably already has this information at his fingertips. For instance, if you’ve ever filed a joint tax return with your ex-husband, it’s right on there.

…that’s what I was thinking (about him having access to our joint returns, etc.) - it’s the truth - it’s almost impossible to designate beneficiaries these days without the SS number…that way the IRS can follow up nicely when you’ve received your funds, or something like that :rolleyes:
I’m good…guess I’ll let him have it (and hope he really does leave me something down the road!"). Thanks!

As I mentioned earlier, it’s also a way to unambiguously designate whom the money goes to. If you just designate a benificiary by name, there could be someone else with the same name, and if they were opportunistic enough, they might show up claiming “He meant me!”

While he might be legit with an IRA or 401(k) or something, he can also start up a brand new line of credit with your SSN and birth date. So I’d probably ask myself what could be his true intention/motivations and do I still trust him?

I’m betting it’s just a work or insurance related insurance beneficiary payout, and yeah, you need the SSN for that. Doesn’t sound like you don’t trust him, and besides, you were married for how long? He’s had access already in the past. Doesn’t sound harmful now.

My sister asked me about a week and a half ago to be the beneficiary on her life insurance policy. I agreed because it was easier than arguing with her. She wanted my SSN and birthdate.