Appointing a fiduciary?

Discussion in 'Fiduciary questions' started by jscott, Jul 5, 2015.

  1. jscott

    jscott Jr. Member

    Happily, we just received a letter awarding the full A&A amount to my MIL. Now brings the follow-up questions.

    Because our application (and doctor's statement) said she could not manage her financial affairs, the award letter states that back payment (retroactive to Jan. 1, 2014) would be paid upon appointment of a fiduciary.

    An enclosure letter says she can send additional information (to the Indianapolis Fiduciary Hub) before they decide whether to appoint a fiduciary.

    In our A&A application, we'd submitted VA form 21-0845 giving me the authority to discuss her case with the VA. Does that mean I'll be appointed? She wants either my husband or me to be her fiduciary, but the VA letter does not say she can nominate someone to do so.

    What do we do now? Do we write that in a letter or the enclosed VA 21-4138 (statement in support of claim)?

    I appreciate your advice on our next step in this process.

  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Congratulations on getting through the process to award!

    You can waive the 60 days disputing their decision of mental incompetency. You can find the wording for that in the FAQ section on the site. There is no point in wasting 60 days when you are in agreement with their findings.

    The 21-0845 has nothing to do with appointment of Fiduciary.

    Use the 21-4138 Statement in Support of Claim to list the person she wants appointed. Not sure why the VA would have said she can't choose the person she wants. For now, I would ignore that and list either yourself or your husband as is her wishes.
  3. jscott

    jscott Jr. Member

    (Clarification: The letter didn't actually state she couldn't nominate a fiduciary; the letter just didn't state that she could do so right now -- i.e., the letter didn't say: You have three options: (1) Provide evidence to show you don't need a fiduciary; (2) Waive your hearing and nominate someone to be your fiduciary; (3) Waive your hearing and allow us to appoint a fiduciary. Wording it that way would have made it much more clear what exactly we were supposed to do).

    Thank you for directing me to the exact language to use in the FAQs.

    Follow up: Unlike many parents, my MIL does NOT have dementia. She lives in regular assisted living, not a memory care unit. In fact, her mind is still keen, just a little bit slow because of a stroke, but she's sharp enough (for example) to read articles in Smithsonian magazine and discuss them with her son. However, she doesn't communicate well with doctors (she clams up and doesn't understand what they are telling her), nor would she be able to handle her own finances.

    Here's the question: On this submission, it seems it would be best if she (not us) makes and signs the statement herself(waiving the hearing and appointing her son), since the examiner who interviews her would clearly see she has a sound and competent mind. What do you think?
  4. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    The VA seldom makes anything clear or easy.

    She is the one who needs to sign and state who she wants appointed as her Fiduciary. You want option #2.
  5. jscott

    jscott Jr. Member

    I am now afraid we have made a mistake in portraying in our A&A application that she is unable to handle her finances.

    If I read the VA website about fiduciary duties correctly, after my husband is appointed fiduciary, we would now have to open a special new bank account. But she already has a checking account (co-owned with him) that gets her Social Security deposit and IRA distributions, from which they write her expense checks.

    All we need now is for the VA to start depositing money into this account. We certainly don't need to open a new account (and have to change all the recurring deposits) to do exactly what we are already doing.

    Is there any way around this?

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