A man from Findlay, Ohio who was declared legally dead in 1994 (after not paying child support, running off to another state, and then abandoning all contact with his family for eight years) has come forward to tell the government he’s still alive. The county probate court decided that it could not change anything about his status, because he’s been legally dead for more than three years. His Social Security number cannot be reinstated (at least by them).
Of course, being legally dead doesn’t apply to crimes, but it does apply to Social Security payments (paid out from his old number, btw). His ex-wife would potentially have had to repay all the Social Security payments given to her to support the kids. Now she won’t have to.
OTOH, Mr. Deadbeat Dad is not going to be able to collect much Social Security if he can’t collect off his old number. (It would seem that wherever he was, nobody was checking his SSN or paying Social Security tax. Was he using fake ID all those years?)
Unfortunately, being legally dead also applies to the guy’s state ID and driver’s license. (Ohio drivers usually have their SSN on their license.)
I suppose that the guy will have to establish a new identity with a new Social Security number, etc. I don’t think he’d have to change his name; it’s the SSN that seems to be the problem.
UPDATE: The lawyers want you to know he’s really a “man with a settled estate.” Apparently the done thing is to incorporate oneself.