Questions & Answers

What is a Living Will?  How is it different from a Health Care Directive or an Advance Directive?

The terms “Living Will,” “Health Care Directive,” and “Advance Directive” all refer to the legal document that lets people state their wishes for end-of-life medical care. Without a document expressing those wishes, family members and doctors are left to guess what a seriously ill person would prefer in terms of treatment. They may end up in painful disputes, which occasionally make it all the way to a courtroom.

My dad has Medicare and Veterans benefits. When he gets a healthcare service, which benefit program should pay?

Generally speaking, if he is eligible for VA healthcare benefits and the services are provided by a VA provider, the services are billed through VA. If the services were provided by a non-VA (civilian) provider, then they are billed to Medicare.

If your dad happens to have more than twenty years of service and has TriCare for Life, it would pay secondary to Medicare.  

My husband was recently awarded VA Pension Benefits. I received a letter proposing to rate him as “incompetent” and that he would need a Fiduciary Agent. I am his wife and Power of Attorney Agent. Why does he need a Fiduciary Agent?

The Department of Veterans Affairs does not recognize Powers of Attorney. Rating your husband as incompetent for VA purposes means that he lacks the ability to manage his financial affairs. For VA, a Fiduciary Agent is like being a Power of Attorney Agent. In many cases, the VA Fiduciary Agent will be the same person as the POA agent.~


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