Fiduciary Process

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by casagrayson, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. casagrayson

    casagrayson Newbie

    I searched through the forum but I didn't see a scenario that fits the one for my parents. In July we received notice that Aid and Attendance were awarded to both my mother and father (both WWII vets, both in assisted living getting Level 1 medical care). They were awarded the maximum amount thanks to all the information I was able to glean from this website!

    On the last day of December, I received a letter saying that my mother had been declared not competent (she has dementia) and a fiduciary will need to be appointed. I'm not surprised by this, as I had read that any indication of dementia on the doctor's report would trigger this.

    Everything I've read here, though, suggests that I should pursue this vigorously so that they will release the back benefits. Here's the thing -- they deposited the lump sum into my parents' account in July! That money has long ago been spent (payment to the ALF). Obviously, I didn't realize I was going to have to keep records, and I certainly didn't know that the money needed to be in a separate account (and couldn't have set it up anyway, since no one was approved as fiduciary).

    I would rather NOT have to do anything differently than we are already doing, so I'm happy dragging this out as long as possible. Should I go ahead and send in the 21-4138 saying we have no objection to the fiduciary process, or can I just wait and let them "catch up" down the road? All of the VA funds are being used for the ALF, so I have no issue with where the money is going.

    Another concern for me is the interview. My mom has been extremely agitated about having to go to ALF, and has made life perfectly miserable for my father. We have *finally* gotten her meds adjusted and she seems somewhat more content; however, if you mention anything about her "disability" she gets very irate. The thought of an interviewer telling her that she was not competent to handle her financial affairs (which she isn't, and she doesn't) throws me into a panic attack. Not only that, but she has no idea how much they are paying to live there, and if she did she would pack her bags and move back into her house (or at least try). And she just might tell the interviewer that she is rich and doesn't need the VA money! If you don't know her, she can sound perfectly lucid! Any suggestions before I give myself an ulcer over this?
  2. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    Happy to hear your parents were awarded the benefit! That's great!

    I would definitely get the 21-4138 sent and get the fiduciary process started. You never know when having that fiduciary status could come in handy if something were to go wrong or come up down the road.

    Oh dear, that does sound like a difficult situation with the interview. Do you have any other family that could be present for the interview that might help? I'm not sure the best way to advise in this situation myself. The good news (kinda) is that the interview usually takes a long time to set up so you have plenty of time to figure out the best way to handle this and your mother might change her mind in some ways in that time.
  3. Jandy

    Jandy Jr. Member

    I hear you--I was worried how my father, who has dementia, would react during the fiduciary interview, too. He's a proud man, and I worried that he would become upset if there was talk about him being helpless, unable to manage his finances, etc.

    But I was relieved--that's not how it went. The VA agent visited with my father and me in my father's ALF unit: just basic shooting the breeze (weather, current events, sports, etc.). I'm sure this was so the agent could get a general handle on Dad's cognitive state (he has dementia), and perhaps to see how Dad and I relate with one another. We both reminded Dad why the agent was there--just to talk to him since he recently had been approved for VA benefits. The agent thanked Dad for his service and that was it, as far as interacting with Dad (this probably lasted about 20-25 minutes?). I then told Dad I was going to walk the agent out and we proceeded to a quiet room down the hall and finished the interview one on one.

    I realize this is only my experience. It's possible I just had a sensitive interviewer who read Dad correctly. And this was in Texas, if that matters--things are perhaps slower and "folksier" there(?).

    Good luck with everything!
  4. casagrayson

    casagrayson Newbie

    We had the interview, and it went very well! Of course, my mom was having a good day and bantered a lot with the rep. Told him she didn't know if her daughters were trustworthy with her money, etc. :eek: Gee thanks, Mom! In fact, the rep called me back today and said "I was looking through everything, and I think your parents are being underpaid. I'm going to send a request up to see if we can't get that fixed." YAY! (He may not be correct, as I thought we were getting the full amount -- but since both parents are veterans there might be some wiggle room there.)
    Kudos to the Veteran's Department for caring field examiners!
    Kaylin likes this.
  5. Kaylin

    Kaylin Hero Member Staff Member

    That's great news, casagrayson! Thank you for sharing here on the forums! If you can help out anyone else who happens to have questions about the fiduciary process in the future, please come back and do so. I'm sure they'd appreciate your input. :)

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