By Steve Wright
Whenever the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) approves a claim for pension benefits, they send a letter called an award letter. Occasionally, in this letter, the VA will also propose to appoint a fiduciary for the pension funds. This usually occurs when medical evidence submitted with the application indicates or suggest that the applicant has some form of diminished mental capacity.
But, what exactly is a fiduciary? A fiduciary is someone the VA appoints to receive and use the VA pension funds on your behalf. The VA will give you the opportunity to choose who this person will be. You can even choose to appoint your spouse. However, the VA does not make it very clear to you that you may choose who this person will be, and if you do not indicate your wishes to the VA in a reasonable time, than the VA will appoint a third-party as your fiduciary. Usually this third party is a person employed by the VA.
If a third party is appointed, then you could face hardships such as unreasonable delays in receiving your much needed pension funds. That is why in all matters relating to your VA claim and overall estate plan, it is critical that you seek professional help before you unknowingly give up a valuable right.
The attorneys at Cooper, Adel & Associates are VA accredited attorneys who believe in helping Ohio's veterans navigate through the complex and difficult VA process. We invite you to call our office for your free consultation.