Author Topic: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?  (Read 13029 times)

pirate_wench

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Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« on: November 06, 2016, 06:27:10 PM »
My MIL wants my child's SSN so she can open a savings account for him where she will deposit birthday/xmas money, etc... over the years instead of buying a ton of gifts.  She says she did this for all her other step-grandkids.  Love the idea of fewer gifts/more money for after highschool, but feel really uncomfortable giving out my kid's social security number. Would you do this, or am I right to not think this sounds quite right? I don't see why she can't just set it aside herself and give it all to him when he graduates, but don't want to sound too ungrateful or paranoid.

trashmanz

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2016, 06:29:41 PM »
Seems paranoid to me but not unjustified. Social getting out could be bad indeed. Not sure if you are worried about deliberate malice or just that they might not be careful with it?  You could just open the account and let them deposit into it.

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2016, 06:37:04 PM »
Be nice to your MIL.   Open the account and send her some deposit slips.  It will save her a trip to the bank and waiting in line!

MayDay

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2016, 06:38:51 PM »
I think we had to give our kids' to my grandfather who opened 529's for them.

I trust him fully and I'm not turning down 5 figures of college funding help.

But I probably wouldn't give it to my in laws. They give us big sums for kids'birthdays and we deposit it ourselves.

Choices

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2016, 07:01:15 PM »
My cousin has a Fidelity 529 for her kid, and at Christmas or birthdays she sends an electronic gift link we can use to contribute. No paper, no lines, no hassle. It's awesome.

BlueHouse

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2016, 07:36:55 PM »
I needed niece's Ssn for a us savings bond. I think it's been pretty common. I also needed all of my siblings SSNs when I made them beneficiaries on my 491k. Will be interesting to see if the practice wil change in the future.

Dicey

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2016, 09:35:45 PM »
In lieu of pink plastic crap, I promised my twin Goddaughters a trip to Europe when they graduated High School. Their dad would never give me their SSN's to open accounts in their names. So I'll keep my word, but what they will get for their trip is a lot less than it could have been. Hurt my feelings, because it said that he doesn't trust me. Whatever. Frankly, I think your fears are unfounded and unreasonable to boot, unless your in-laws are total financial assholes, which doesn't seem to be the case.

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2016, 11:45:50 PM »
Be nice to your MIL.   Open the account and send her some deposit slips.  It will save her a trip to the bank and waiting in line!

This is similar to what I would do, if I were concerned about my parents having my child's ssn.

arebelspy

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2016, 12:47:17 AM »
It makes me sad you can't trust your parent with it.

Sorry you're in that situation.  =/

We have no relatives we wouldn't give our, or our daughter's SSN to, if there was a valid reason for them asking.
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protostache

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2016, 12:53:21 AM »
In lieu of pink plastic crap, I promised my twin Goddaughters a trip to Europe when they graduated High School. Their dad would never give me their SSN's to open accounts in their names. So I'll keep my word, but what they will get for their trip is a lot less than it could have been. Hurt my feelings, because it said that he doesn't trust me. Whatever. Frankly, I think your fears are unfounded and unreasonable to boot, unless your in-laws are total financial assholes, which doesn't seem to be the case.

Check out the Personal Finance subreddit sometime. Often it seems like half the stories on there are people who discover someone opened a credit account with their info when they were a kid.

Identity theft is a real thing and is a huge problem in this country. I'm sure you're not going to do something nefarious, but what if you lose control of that number? Say the slip of paper falls in the recycle bin and someone picks it up. Or your laptop gets stolen?

As a parent the easiest way to prevent a whole host of problems for your kid later in life is to just not give out that number to anyone not legally required to have it. There's no reason to be upset about it.

vhalros

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2016, 09:44:21 AM »
It makes me sad you can't trust your parent with it.

Sorry you're in that situation.  =/

We have no relatives we wouldn't give our, or our daughter's SSN to, if there was a valid reason for them asking.

To me, things like this aren't really about trusting they won't do some malicious with it. Its about trusting that it is kept secret; most people are terrible about keeping information secure. And even if they aren't, the more people who know the number, the greater the risk. So if it can be done with out giving out the SS number, I'd do it that way, regardless of how much I trust my parents.

Captain FIRE

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2016, 10:04:03 AM »
Is there a reason you don't trust the relative?

If so, I wouldn't give out the information, obviously, but consider there are many legitimate reasons to ask for this information.  For example, I've asked for this information before on my siblings and nephew to put them down as beneficiaries on some of my accounts.  For a request from a trustworthy relative, I wouldn't worry too much about hurting someone's feelings (although know you likely will by refusing because you are indicating a lack of trust in them), but consider the bigger question of whether it's in your child's best interests to refuse - and not have the accounts opened for them or the person added as a beneficiary. 

SSN is actually asked and used a LOT these days/in the past (e.g. jobs, accounts, drivers license, government benefits, taxes, etc.).  In some places with low population counts (Alaska), they've even determined that you can figure out some people's SSNs.  It's already not as private as you think it is. 
« Last Edit: November 07, 2016, 10:07:11 AM by Captain FIRE »

gj83

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2016, 10:59:03 AM »
I wanted to setup accounts for my nephews and I thought about UTMA/UGMA or 529 but any of that would require their SSNs.  I personally don't want that information.  I trust myself, but that doesn't mean that I need the information.  Instead I found a site that lets you purchase gift cards for stocks and left it up to my brother to actually establish the accounts. 
Since there are plenty of ways to give the money without the SSN I chose to minimize the information I am exposed to. 
When I told my parents I wanted to do this they offered to give me the SSNs since they just setup 529 accounts for them.  I declined and said I would ask my brother directly if I needed it.  If anyone in my family is a weak link with money and credit it is my brother so again it's not about trust.  I guess I'm just used to HIPAA regulations and minimizing exposure to information you don't need to know.

I have my brothers on as my beneficiaries on my Roth and I needed their SSNs to do that...but our numbers have the exact same first 5 digits since we all got our numbers at the same time.  I can just ask them for their last 4 (actually I just need the last 3 since I know their 6th digit).  A few of my accounts will allow beneficiaries with full name, date of birth, address, and relationship. beneficiaries are different than minors on a custodial account so in the OP's case the SSN is probably required.

OP: if they can create the account with a paper form try to have them fill out the rest of the paper form and send it to you so you can fill in the SSN and mail it in.  Or if they are doing the form online fill out the form when you are there with them. 

RamonaQ

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2016, 11:12:42 AM »
For my godchildren my friend just sent me their account information (529s, I think).  I can contribute to it just by knowing their account numbers, which works out perfectly for me.  I guess if I wanted them to have a separate account with just my contributions in it we'd have to do it a little differently, but I don't care if the money I send gets mixed in with what they contribute.

Mr. Green

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2016, 11:28:36 AM »
It makes me sad you can't trust your parent with it.

Sorry you're in that situation.  =/

We have no relatives we wouldn't give our, or our daughter's SSN to, if there was a valid reason for them asking.
To me, things like this aren't really about trusting they won't do some malicious with it. Its about trusting that it is kept secret; most people are terrible about keeping information secure. And even if they aren't, the more people who know the number, the greater the risk. So if it can be done with out giving out the SS number, I'd do it that way, regardless of how much I trust my parents.
I'm having a really hard time identifying a scenario in which someone's grandchild's SS# would slip into casual conversation/public view. I can't imagine how it would come up.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2016, 11:30:40 AM by Mr. Green »

vhalros

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2016, 12:00:40 PM »

I'm having a really hard time identifying a scenario in which someone's grandchild's SS# would slip into casual conversation/public view. I can't imagine how it would come up.


Because they wrote it down somewhere, and the cleaning person saw it. Or because it was saved on the computer, and slurped up by a bit of malware which captures everything that might be a name + SS number. Or it was saved in some online account with a poorly chosen/repeated password. Or it was written on something that was thrown in the trash, and recovered by another party. Or any number of things that happen when people aren't careful about how they store private information.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2016, 12:02:35 PM by vhalros »

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2016, 12:29:47 PM »
I have the SSN of all my nieces and nephews. They are the beneficiaries on all my investments accounts and my life insurance in the case of my death. SSN was required to set that up.

I guess if they don't want the inheritance, that's cool.  But their parents saw no harm in giving me the numbers.

Dicey

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2016, 12:36:50 PM »
I'm kinda sad protostache, but I'm not upset. Trusting no one is a shifty way to go through life. No reason you couldn't just check the kid's credit occasionally. The point is, the girls are going to get less because their dad didn't trust me. The same thing could easily happen in the scenario described by the OP. Make it easy for grandma to give and she will.

Blatant

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2016, 12:49:02 PM »
As many places as an individual's SSN are floating about through jobs, credit, cars, houses, etc., I would not hesitate for a single second to give my child's SSN to a relative in order to create an account for the child.

protostache

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2016, 01:17:35 PM »
I'm kinda sad protostache, but I'm not upset. Trusting no one is a shifty way to go through life. No reason you couldn't just check the kid's credit occasionally. The point is, the girls are going to get less because their dad didn't trust me. The same thing could easily happen in the scenario described by the OP. Make it easy for grandma to give and she will.

I guess I don't understand why they're getting less just because you weren't able to set up an account in their name. You can just give them the vacation and/or give them a check to put into their own account, right?

Obviously you give the gifts you want to give. I'm not judging you, I'm just curious about the thought process. Is it just because of the perceived lack of trust on the part of their dad?

As many places as an individual's SSN are floating about through jobs, credit, cars, houses, etc., I would not hesitate for a single second to give my child's SSN to a relative in order to create an account for the child.

A child has none of these things. The sooner that number gets written down somewhere it doesn't need to be the more chance there is it'll be exposed to people intending to do harm prior to the child having the ability to do anything about it.

I guess I'm just used to HIPAA regulations and minimizing exposure to information you don't need to know.

100% with you here. And for the record, I have never been forced to give a SSN for a beneficiary. It's always an optional field. Beneficiaries aren't some magical automated thing, a human is still going to have to contact the bank with a death certificate and photo ID.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2016, 01:22:46 PM by protostache »

charis

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2016, 01:43:42 PM »
I don't really think that it is reasonable to be upset or sad about a parent not wanting to turn over their child's SSN.  It is not a personal indictment of your trustworthiness.  Identity theft is not a matter of simply checking your credit report.  Parents are trying to do the best they can for their kids with the information/warnings they have received, and it's not always going to be perfect.

GizmoTX

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2016, 08:10:31 PM »
Many states allow freezing the credit of a minor, often for free. This is an excellent idea for everyone, since you no longer have to worry about identity theft. Your existing credit is not affected, but no one can open a new account without your knowledge or approval.

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2016, 08:27:10 PM »
Be nice to your MIL.   Open the account and send her some deposit slips.  It will save her a trip to the bank and waiting in line!

+1
Now, if it's just that you are uncomfortable giving it out bc it's your mil that's a different problem ;)

Dicey

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2016, 12:41:20 AM »
I'm kinda sad protostache, but I'm not upset. Trusting no one is a shifty way to go through life. No reason you couldn't just check the kid's credit occasionally. The point is, the girls are going to get less because their dad didn't trust me. The same thing could easily happen in the scenario described by the OP. Make it easy for grandma to give and she will.

I guess I don't understand why they're getting less just because you weren't able to set up an account in their name. You can just give them the vacation and/or give them a check to put into their own account, right?

Obviously you give the gifts you want to give. I'm not judging you, I'm just curious about the thought process. Is it just because of the perceived lack of trust on the part of their dad?
No, it's because I wanted to invest 1k each when they were toddlers and let it grow. I had the money and was ready to set up investment accounts in their names, but  no SSN's were ever forthcoming, nor were any other options proposed, despite several requests. So now, it's just what I have set aside over the years, with no lovely, lovely compound interest. Reminds me of the maxim that it's much easier to invest your way to FIRE than to save your way there. Interestingly, the girl's dad is a financial guy. Surely he understands the difference??

A quick calculation says 1k at 7% for 16 years would equal almost 3.5k. Per kid.

Edit: Fixed wonky quote.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2016, 03:10:00 PM by Diane C »

arebelspy

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2016, 01:57:48 AM »


No, it's because I wanted to invest 1k each when they were toddlers and let it grow. I had the money and was ready to set up investment accounts in their names, but  no SSN's were ever forthcoming, nor were any other options proposed, despite several requests. So now, it's just what I have set aside over the years, with no lovely, lovely compound interest. Reminds me of the maxim that it's much easier to invest your way to FIRE than to save your way there. Interestingly, the girl's dad is a financial guy. Surely he understands the difference??

A quick calculation says 1k at 7% for 16 years would equal almost 3.5k. Per kid.

What stopped you from investing it yourself, instead of holding it in cash?

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2016, 07:07:27 AM »
Many states allow freezing the credit of a minor, often for free. This is an excellent idea for everyone, since you no longer have to worry about identity theft. Your existing credit is not affected, but no one can open a new account without your knowledge or approval.

I believe you can lock your SSN from being used for anything, for free. It's my understanding that it's basically what companies like Life Lock do, only they charge you.

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2016, 07:15:43 AM »

100% with you here. And for the record, I have never been forced to give a SSN for a beneficiary. It's always an optional field. Beneficiaries aren't some magical automated thing, a human is still going to have to contact the bank with a death certificate and photo ID.

Weird, I just checked in a few of my accounts, and if I want a beneficiary, it has to have a SSN associated with it.

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2016, 07:25:36 AM »
SSN has always been required in my experience (recent).  Maybe this is another benefit of the patriot act...

protostache

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2016, 07:32:03 AM »

100% with you here. And for the record, I have never been forced to give a SSN for a beneficiary. It's always an optional field. Beneficiaries aren't some magical automated thing, a human is still going to have to contact the bank with a death certificate and photo ID.

Weird, I just checked in a few of my accounts, and if I want a beneficiary, it has to have a SSN associated with it.

Huh. Maybe it's by state? I just went in and edited beneficiaries for my Vanguard and Fidelity IRAs. Vanguard didn't even have a box for it and Fidelity noted that it was optional.

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2016, 07:39:18 AM »
If you don't already have access to a savings account then I would give it to your grandparents. Put a credit freeze for free on the SSN after the account was created if you don't completely trust them.  Yes putting a credit freeze on an account is cumbersome but I do it with mine.  Good luck!  Sounds like the starting of trust or mistrust

Captain FIRE

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2016, 08:24:24 AM »
I don't really think that it is reasonable to be upset or sad about a parent not wanting to turn over their child's SSN.  It is not a personal indictment of your trustworthiness.  Identity theft is not a matter of simply checking your credit report.  Parents are trying to do the best they can for their kids with the information/warnings they have received, and it's not always going to be perfect.

No?  All of the scenarios that vhalros could come up with involved a mistake on the part of the requestor:

I'm having a really hard time identifying a scenario in which someone's grandchild's SS# would slip into casual conversation/public view. I can't imagine how it would come up.

Because they wrote it down somewhere, and the cleaning person saw it. Or because it was saved on the computer, and slurped up by a bit of malware which captures everything that might be a name + SS number. Or it was saved in some online account with a poorly chosen/repeated password. Or it was written on something that was thrown in the trash, and recovered by another party. Or any number of things that happen when people aren't careful about how they store private information.

I simply can't see how declining to give it is anything other than a lack of trust.  When I asked for the SSNs of my siblings and nephews, I put it into the form and didn't retain a copy of it anywhere.  (Possibly annoying to my family considering a few weeks later I was asking again for the SSNs because I had more forms to fill out, but so it goes.)

And I don't think you should give it out if you don't trust the person impeccably.  But whether you should or shouldn't be hurt by a demonstrated lack of trust, the fact is, the vast majority of us would feel that way.  (So I'd say it's therefore reasonable to feel that way.)  As I noted above, that's not a reason to give it out, but you should at least be aware and expect that your relative will feel that way.  Now, I don't quite understand why Diane C couldn't invest the money in a separate account for her goddaughters, but I was required to have the SSN for the beneficiary forms.  If someone refused, that's fine (well, I'd be briefly hurt, but get over it) - but they aren't getting a piece of the pie later either.  And yes, it was required, not optional for my forms.

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #31 on: November 09, 2016, 03:31:01 PM »


No, it's because I wanted to invest 1k each when they were toddlers and let it grow. I had the money and was ready to set up investment accounts in their names, but  no SSN's were ever forthcoming, nor were any other options proposed, despite several requests. So now, it's just what I have set aside over the years, with no lovely, lovely compound interest. Reminds me of the maxim that it's much easier to invest your way to FIRE than to save your way there. Interestingly, the girl's dad is a financial guy. Surely he understands the difference??

A quick calculation says 1k at 7% for 16 years would equal almost 3.5k. Per kid.

What stopped you from investing it yourself, instead of holding it in cash?
Good question ARS! I never stopped investing. It was my intention to start accounts for each girl and then hand them control of the entire balance in their senior year of high school. I thought it would be a great way for them to learn about planning and managing their money to get the most out of their trip. That was the real gift I wanted to give them. Stealthy money management skill development + anticipation + mustachian baby steps + big-ass adventure. Instead, I just feel like I'd be handing them a pile o' money that their parents aren't even supportive of. Kind of like an ATM.

I came from a family of limited means, as did the parents. I would have loved it if anyone had given me such an exciting opportunity. But these girls are growing up in an affluent neighborhood and have been to Europe more than once, so maybe my gift just doesn't have the same value to them as it would have to me.

And, I will have to pay taxes on any money that I withdraw for them. Not going to cash out 9k(-ish) of my hard-earned green soldiers so I can give them a 7k lump sum.  I know I could just give them mileage and hotel points, but that would just be me planning their trip for them, where is the life-skill enhancement in that? Your thoughts, insights and facepunches, if necessary, are welcome.

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #32 on: November 09, 2016, 04:19:21 PM »
Thanks for all the input so far! It's not that I don't trust her per se, it's what a lot of people have pointed out, it accidentally getting it stolen, etc...Good advice on putting a credit freeze on his ssn.  It still doesn't feel right, and I was put off that she said it as if there was nothing to discuss. There are other ways to save money for somebody, and I just want to be prepared to offer alternatives. It depresses me that people on here got so upset about not getting the SSN of their family members, but it does prepare me knowing that is a popular sentiment, and that's why I asked.

 I am also not naive that the ssn gets used for a lot of things. I'm constantly astounded where I have to put it, work documents, health insurance stuff, etc...  I also understand it's asked for for beneficiaries on a lot of accounts.  As a mustachian, I have several retirement accounts I've had to set up beneficiaries for, though I feel like only recently was the social security number asked for. Feels different when it's your infant child's private info.

My other concern is that an account under his name that I have no control over with a bunch of money in it can negatively effect him getting financial aid when applying to college. Might not ever be enough money to worry about, and I would like to pay for his college anyways, but it's something to consider.

Thanks.

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #33 on: November 09, 2016, 04:52:18 PM »
First of all, the entire concept of using a SSN for authentication (rather than merely for identification) is wrong and needs to be outlawed.

Many states allow freezing the credit of a minor, often for free. This is an excellent idea for everyone, since you no longer have to worry about identity theft. Your existing credit is not affected, but no one can open a new account without your knowledge or approval.

Second, this sort of law is asinine. People shouldn't have to be "allowed to freeze credit;" the whole concept should be turned on its head and credit bureaus should be prosecuted for libel every time they give out false information.

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #34 on: November 09, 2016, 06:14:34 PM »
If the account is in your child's name, the funds in that account will be applied to your Expected Family Contribution on the college FAFSA at a much higher percentage and significantly reduce financial aid.

If that is a concern, it would be best not to have the money in kiddos name

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #35 on: November 09, 2016, 06:54:31 PM »
I can't imagine NOT trusting my parents or my in-laws with this information in this circumstance.  After all, you'd trust these people to babysit the child, right?  Which is more valuable? 

Ask them to open the account and then destroy the paper on which the number's written. 

I can see why the grandparents might want to set this account up in the child's name.  None of us know what'll happen in the next 18 years.  Will the grandparents live to see the child use this money for college?  Will the parents fall on hard times and dip into the money?  Maybe I think this way because my father worked diligently for a while to take good care of us ... and then he drank all his savings, then our college money, then he left us.  Yes, I can see why grandparents might want to "lock it up" so they'd KNOW the money would be the child's.  Probably not the choice I'd make myself, but not an unreasonable choice. 

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #36 on: November 10, 2016, 12:23:56 AM »
Quote
Your thoughts, insights and facepunches, if necessary, are welcome.

Okay!  Two ideas.

1:
And, I will have to pay taxes on any money that I withdraw for them. Not going to cash out 9k(-ish) of my hard-earned green soldiers so I can give them a 7k lump sum.

Pay the taxes out of what you were going to give them.  Had you invested in their names, they'd have had to pay taxes when selling and cashing out, and that money would have come from the account.  So there shouldn't be any difference between investing it in their name, and them cashing it out, paying the taxes, and having the net to spend, or you cashing it out, paying the taxes, and giving them the net to plan with.

2:
Quote
I know I could just give them mileage and hotel points, but that would just be me planning their trip for them, where is the life-skill enhancement in that? Your thoughts, insights and facepunches, if necessary, are welcome.

Why does that mean you'll be planning the trip for them?

Tell them the type of hotel points you have, and the type of airline points.  Let them research the travel partners that can use those.  Let them research routes, and plan an itinerary.  Find those hotels in different cities.  Find routes between them.  Etc.

Let them research places, and how to get there.

I don't know why using miles and hotel points means you need to plan it for them.

That sounds like a great solution to me, and often giving constraints like that helps it 1) Not be overwhelming with too much possibility, and 2) Foster creativity within those constraints.

It sounds like an awesome gift to me, both the trip, and the idea for them to plan it!  :)
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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #37 on: November 10, 2016, 12:29:32 AM »
If the account is in your child's name, the funds in that account will be applied to your Expected Family Contribution on the college FAFSA at a much higher percentage and significantly reduce financial aid.

If that is a concern, it would be best not to have the money in kiddos name

This is a good point. So much to consider when saving for future expenses.

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #38 on: November 10, 2016, 02:20:22 PM »
I personally am of the opinion that as a parent, your child's SSN is NOT yours to give out. It is your child's SSN. You are a guardian of your child (and therefore their SSN) until they become adults. Therefore it is not your place to decide who has access to information that could destroy their life if someone makes an inadvertent mistake. It is your child's information. Not yours.
I would rather err on the side of caution and perhaps ruffle some family feathers, than experience regret and anguish if my child's identity was stolen and their credit destroyed because of me. Once you give it out, you can't take it back.

I don't have kids yet, but I wouldn't want multiple accounts out there for my child (that a pp rightfully pointed out could greatly affect their eligibility for financial aid) that I do not have control over. I know our family members would have the best intentions, but as the parents we really need to be the ones making sure our child's financial position is secure, and we can't do that effectively with accounts we don't manage. I'm thinking specifically of ensuring they still have access to needed financial aid. DH and I plan to open 529s for our kids that our family members can deposit into if they wish to contribute.

Also, not all family members are kind. My own grandmother, who had saved and invested money for my education, actually withheld it at the last minute because she disapproved of my major and held my tuition money hostage. My parents and I had to scramble to get another loan to cover my tuition. My grandmother revealed herself to be a not very nice person and willing to use money like a baseball bat to control people. I will go to great lengths to keep my kids from having to go through what I did, which means I will be in charge of their money, not someone who could potentially view the money as leverage. I know that's a pessimistic view of people, but since I experienced it first-hand from someone I trusted, yeah. I won't trust anyone else with my finances, let alone my (future) innocent children's.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2016, 02:25:35 PM by LadyLB »

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #39 on: November 10, 2016, 03:17:02 PM »
I'll throw out a couple of personal stories for what they might to worth:

22+ years ago DH1 and I set up a gifttrusts for ~13 younger relatives to mature when they were 30 y.o. (12-29 years in the future). I frankly don't remember if we needed SSNs; however, if we did and the parents wouldn't give them we would have been bewildered.  Granted, this was a different age as far as identity theft is concerned.  DH1 died a few years later and I fell mostly out of contact with the younger relatives which were on his side.  If the trusts had not been set up I would have been unlikely to track when these relatives each turned 30 or to have kept separate brokerage accounts in each name.

5 or so years ago DH2 and I decided to set up something similar for the current set of younger relatives.  Now 529s exist.  In a few cases the parents had already set up 529s so we just wrote a check so they could add it to the existing 529.  A couple of other youngsters didn't have 529s and we didn't trust that the parents would create one or not raid it at the first bump (of which there are many).  We asked for SSNs so we could set up 529 accounts with us as the custodian.  One SSN was readily forthcoming and 529 set up.   Second parents didn't provide SSN after we asked on two different occassions.  Not sure if it's fear of identy theft, disorganization or hope that we'll just give them cash instead.  Issue was dropped.  When college time comes we plan to cough up the amount that is in the other 529 plan.  But things could happen that might interfere with that plan (see DH1's death above).

Personally if I trusted the grandparents and whomever is physically close to them (i.e., no drug addict son hanging around) I would give them the SSN.  As you acknowledge you already "trust" a lot of random people in the places like dentist offices, doctor's offices, schools, insurance companies, banks, etc.  Locking a child's credit file is probably a good idea in general.





 

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #40 on: November 10, 2016, 05:30:30 PM »
I personally am of the opinion that as a parent, your child's SSN is NOT yours to give out. It is your child's SSN. You are a guardian of your child (and therefore their SSN) until they become adults. Therefore it is not your place to decide who has access to information that could destroy their life if someone makes an inadvertent mistake. It is your child's information. Not yours.

...what?

As the guardian, it is precisely your responsibility to decide what is best for the child, and make decisions on their behalf.  That's what being a parent (or, more precisely, guardian) is.

What happens when a form at the doctor's office requires it?  "Sorry, not gonna get this shot, kid, because it's not my place to give out your SSN."

If you think that's ridiculous, and you can choose to give their SSN to the doctor because it's in the child's best interests, then I see no reason why you can't give it to a trusted family member to start an investment account in their name because, again, it's in the child's best interests.
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Lady SA

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #41 on: November 11, 2016, 09:25:25 AM »
I personally am of the opinion that as a parent, your child's SSN is NOT yours to give out. It is your child's SSN. You are a guardian of your child (and therefore their SSN) until they become adults. Therefore it is not your place to decide who has access to information that could destroy their life if someone makes an inadvertent mistake. It is your child's information. Not yours.

...what?

As the guardian, it is precisely your responsibility to decide what is best for the child, and make decisions on their behalf.  That's what being a parent (or, more precisely, guardian) is.

What happens when a form at the doctor's office requires it?  "Sorry, not gonna get this shot, kid, because it's not my place to give out your SSN."

If you think that's ridiculous, and you can choose to give their SSN to the doctor because it's in the child's best interests, then I see no reason why you can't give it to a trusted family member to start an investment account in their name because, again, it's in the child's best interests.

We can agree to disagree. I never said I would NEVER give out the SSN. I said that I want to be extremely cautious about it because it's not mine to give out willy nilly. A doctor's office has a legal requirement to keep patients' personal information protected. And yes, unless the SSN is required on the form, I will not fill it out, but if the doctor can give me a valid reason why they need the SSN, then I'm absolutely fine with that. However, I don't see a family member creating a separate investment account as a valid reason to give out the SSN because I will already be providing them an avenue to contribute if they want.
YMMV -- some people are more comfortable sharing that information than I am. It is my opinion that it is in *my* child's best interest to limit who has their SSN. If you don't feel the need to lock it down like I do, awesome. My intent was to share an alternate pov for the OP, since she sounds uncomfortable with the idea of giving her MIL her child's SSN.

And my point was that a trusted family member starting an investment account that I have no control over for *my own child* is something I am not comfortable with. I prefer having control over assets that are in my immediate family's name, no matter how trustworthy the family member is. And if our family members choose not to contribute because they lose control of the funds, I'm not going to lose sleep over it.  DH and I have it covered. Any extra contributions are a welcome and grateful bonus.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2016, 09:39:28 AM by LadyLB »

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #42 on: November 11, 2016, 10:49:59 AM »
Can't you just offer to open the account with your relatives and you input the SSN. Just say it's not a matter of trust but you are trying to 100% minimize risk. They may think you are a bit weird but who cares.

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #43 on: November 11, 2016, 01:09:26 PM »
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #44 on: November 15, 2016, 07:40:13 AM »
I personally am of the opinion that as a parent, your child's SSN is NOT yours to give out. It is your child's SSN. You are a guardian of your child (and therefore their SSN) until they become adults.
agreed

As the guardian, it is precisely your responsibility to decide what is best for the child, and make decisions on their behalf.  That's what being a parent (or, more precisely, guardian) is.

What happens when a form at the doctor's office requires it? 
Sounds like a doctor's office is running a scam.

it should be with their insurance, which is yours, and unless the doctors office is planning to come after them for debt collections they don't need it, in which case would be pretty wild since you are their guardian; ergo fiscally responsible for them.

nah, SSN is only for tax returns and that is just to claim them as a dependent. I kinda feel bad every year for even doing that.

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #45 on: November 15, 2016, 07:46:28 AM »
I personally am of the opinion that as a parent, your child's SSN is NOT yours to give out. It is your child's SSN. You are a guardian of your child (and therefore their SSN) until they become adults.
agreed

As the guardian, it is precisely your responsibility to decide what is best for the child, and make decisions on their behalf.  That's what being a parent (or, more precisely, guardian) is.

What happens when a form at the doctor's office requires it? 
Sounds like a doctor's office is running a scam.

it should be with their insurance, which is yours, and unless the doctors office is planning to come after them for debt collections they don't need it, in which case would be pretty wild since you are their guardian; ergo fiscally responsible for them.

nah, SSN is only for tax returns and that is just to claim them as a dependent. I kinda feel bad every year for even doing that.

Could you be held responsible for your child's medical debt?  (Obviously assuming they were uninsured)

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #46 on: November 15, 2016, 07:55:49 AM »
I personally am of the opinion that as a parent, your child's SSN is NOT yours to give out. It is your child's SSN. You are a guardian of your child (and therefore their SSN) until they become adults.
agreed

As the guardian, it is precisely your responsibility to decide what is best for the child, and make decisions on their behalf.  That's what being a parent (or, more precisely, guardian) is.

What happens when a form at the doctor's office requires it? 
Sounds like a doctor's office is running a scam.

it should be with their insurance, which is yours, and unless the doctors office is planning to come after them for debt collections they don't need it, in which case would be pretty wild since you are their guardian; ergo fiscally responsible for them.

nah, SSN is only for tax returns and that is just to claim them as a dependent. I kinda feel bad every year for even doing that.

Could you be held responsible for your child's medical debt?  (Obviously assuming they were uninsured)

In the most straight forward way I can answer this; yes, guardians are (fiscally) responsible for their dependents. Were you asking this in a hypothetical way? even if they are insured you are still responsible for co-pays/deductibles.

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #47 on: November 15, 2016, 08:41:35 AM »
As the guardian, it is precisely your responsibility to decide what is best for the child, and make decisions on their behalf.  That's what being a parent (or, more precisely, guardian) is.

What happens when a form at the doctor's office requires it? 
Sounds like a doctor's office is running a scam.

it should be with their insurance, which is yours, and unless the doctors office is planning to come after them for debt collections they don't need it, in which case would be pretty wild since you are their guardian; ergo fiscally responsible for them.

nah, SSN is only for tax returns and that is just to claim them as a dependent. I kinda feel bad every year for even doing that.

Huh?

Even for traditional married two-parent families, the parents can and do have different insurance than their kids.  (For example, my husband's employer won't allow me to be on a plan with him, so we are needing to choose between all of us on my higher cost plan, or he & the baby on his high deductible plan.  Odds are, I'll be taking the baby in to many appointments by myself - and we are likely to have different insurances.)

Also, insurance bills/codes based on the patient that they see.  If they see the kid, they are billing the insurance based on the kid not the parent.  This is likely why they request the SSN, for coding & identification, rather than for debt collections.

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #48 on: November 15, 2016, 09:28:19 AM »
As the guardian, it is precisely your responsibility to decide what is best for the child, and make decisions on their behalf.  That's what being a parent (or, more precisely, guardian) is.

What happens when a form at the doctor's office requires it? 
Sounds like a doctor's office is running a scam.

it should be with their insurance, which is yours, and unless the doctors office is planning to come after them for debt collections they don't need it, in which case would be pretty wild since you are their guardian; ergo fiscally responsible for them.

nah, SSN is only for tax returns and that is just to claim them as a dependent. I kinda feel bad every year for even doing that.

Huh?

Even for traditional married two-parent families, the parents can and do have different insurance than their kids.  (For example, my husband's employer won't allow me to be on a plan with him, so we are needing to choose between all of us on my higher cost plan, or he & the baby on his high deductible plan.  Odds are, I'll be taking the baby in to many appointments by myself - and we are likely to have different insurances.)

Also, insurance bills/codes based on the patient that they see.  If they see the kid, they are billing the insurance based on the kid not the parent.  This is likely why they request the SSN, for coding & identification, rather than for debt collections.

I have never had a doctor's office ask me for my or anyone else's SSN.  Billing offices have never asked for my children's SSN (just name and DOB) regardless of either it was my or my husband's insurance.  I could see this possibly coming up if the child has his/her own policy under a Medicaid state program.

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Re: Giving SSN of your child to a grandparent?
« Reply #49 on: November 15, 2016, 10:09:29 AM »
As the guardian, it is precisely your responsibility to decide what is best for the child, and make decisions on their behalf.  That's what being a parent (or, more precisely, guardian) is.

What happens when a form at the doctor's office requires it? 
Sounds like a doctor's office is running a scam.

it should be with their insurance, which is yours, and unless the doctors office is planning to come after them for debt collections they don't need it, in which case would be pretty wild since you are their guardian; ergo fiscally responsible for them.

nah, SSN is only for tax returns and that is just to claim them as a dependent. I kinda feel bad every year for even doing that.

Huh?

Even for traditional married two-parent families, the parents can and do have different insurance than their kids.  (For example, my husband's employer won't allow me to be on a plan with him, so we are needing to choose between all of us on my higher cost plan, or he & the baby on his high deductible plan.  Odds are, I'll be taking the baby in to many appointments by myself - and we are likely to have different insurances.)

Also, insurance bills/codes based on the patient that they see.  If they see the kid, they are billing the insurance based on the kid not the parent.  This is likely why they request the SSN, for coding & identification, rather than for debt collections.

The only places that should be requesting an SSN are the SSA, the IRS, the State department when ordering a passport, banks when opening an account (because they have to report to the IRS) and health insurance companies, Medicaid, and healthcare.gov (because they have to report to the IRS). That's it. If anyone else asks they are either ignorant or running a scam. A doctor's office should just be asking for insurance information because they can just call the insurance company to verify your coverage.