Caring For Your Dog by using a Veterans Power of Attorney Form

Veterans Power of AttorneyA Veterans power of attorney form can help another person take care of your dog.  More importantly, the VA form for a POA can help families take care of their Veteran.

Like you, I am a veteran.  Deep down inside, I believe all of us are afraid of VA hospitals and nursing home facilities in some capacity.  Wouldn’t it be nice if a Veteran’s family could make decisions and stand-up in a time of need?

The process of granting a person within a family or a person outside a family the ability to care for a Veteran, their dog, or manage their affairs is as easy as adding the Veterans Power of Attorney form to an estate plan.

Dangers of using a Veterans Power of Attorney Form

Absolutely, the process of using a VA POA or Living will can be a dangerous proposition too.  In my experience, here are four (4) major dangers for Veterans using a Power of Attorney Form:

  1. Granting power to a person they cannot trust,
  2. The form contradicts another form in an estate plan,
  3. Not having a form or document that helps the Veteran in a specific situation needing attention, and
  4. Failing to fill out the form correctly.

Preventing problems

Here is how Veterans can prevent problems:

  • Identify a list of people they can trust,
  • Think through what or when the Veteran needs their help,
  • Ask if the Veteran might require medical attention outside the Veterans medical system, and
  • Will the Veteran’s wishes be impacted if another estate planning document contradicts their intentions?Health Care Directive in Minnesota

What can a Veterans Power of Attorney Form do for me?

The most powerful form on the planet is likely granting another person power of attorney.  In other words, granting another person a power of attorney might allow them to literally do anything and everything without the other person’s consent.

On the other hand, the form used by the VA does a “good job” of identifying this risk.  Perhaps more helpful is the fact the VA Form does more than granting a Power of Attorney.

Yes, additionally, the form used by the VA can grant another person power to make healthcare decisions too.  This person is called a Health Care Agent

Do Veterans need a Power of Attorney or Health Care Agent?

Believe it or not, a spouse in Minnesota likely cannot act behalf of their Veteran if the Veteran fails to formalize a document granting their spouse power.  Absolutely, having a power of attorney or health care agent is a personal decision.

However, many families are surprised to find out their abilities to help a Veteran are limited if certain documents are not included in an estate plan.

In my practice, I prefer working with Veterans by helping them identify risk, alleviate fear, and have a formal estate document in place while trying to account for as many scenarios as possible.  For example, does the Veteran anticipate traveling abroad, traveling domestically or needing care at a Minnesota Veteran’s Nursing Home?

Again, each process for each Veteran is going to be different because every Veteran has different wishes.

Where can you find a Veterans Power of Attorney form?

Yes, every Vet has the ability to download and print the VA’s form.  The form is number 10-0137 and it can be accessed here.  On the other hand, not every Veteran or family should use this form and I encourage Veterans to ask why.