Dealing with the death of a loved one is always hard, and putting off the settling of your parent’s affairs can make it even more difficult. If your parent received the VA Aid & Attendance pension, it is important that you notify the VA of their death as soon as possible so that you will not receive payments from the VA that you will be required to return later.
The consequences of delaying this important step can be unpleasant. If you delay in notifying the VA of your parent’s death, you will have to return the amount of any benefits that the VA sent to your parent after their death. Not only could this create a financial burden to the executor who is attempting to pay debts on behalf of the estate, but it could cause confusion that will complicate the probate process in the future.
There are a couple of ways to notify the VA of your parent’s death. One way is to complete VA Form 21-438, Statement in Support of Claim, and include a copy of the death certificate with the form. Form 21-438 can be found at the following website: http://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-4138-ARE.pdf. However, if your parent was receiving their pension through a direct deposit, it may be faster to call the VA at 1-877-838-2778 and request that payment of benefits be stopped.