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