Duty 3: Keep Roberto’s money separate

Never mix Roberto’s benefit money with your own or someone else’s. Mixing money makes it unclear who owns what. Confusing records can get you in trouble with government agencies and law enforcement.

Follow these guidelines:

  • Separate means separate. Never deposit Roberto’s money or property into your own or someone else’s bank account or investment account. The VA fiduciary program makes an exception to this rule if you are a fiduciary for your spouse.
  • Avoid joint accounts. If you and Roberto already have benefit money or property in a joint account, take his money or property out and put it in a new account. The box below shows you how to title the account and sign checks. Arrange for direct deposit of his benefits.
  • Pay Roberto’s expenses from his funds, not yours. Spending your money and then paying yourself back makes it hard to keep good records. If you really need to use your money, save receipts for the expense and keep a good record of why, what, and when you paid yourself.
  • Don’t sign contracts or leases on Roberto’s behalf, even if they are entirely paid by benefits. You don’t have the authority to sign contracts or leases for Roberto, unless you have some other legal arrangement, such as a power of attorney or guardianship of the estate.
     

How to title an account if you are a repResentative payee

For bank accounts: (Name of beneficiary) by (Your name), representative payee OR (Your name), representative payee for (Name of beneficiary)

For U.S. savings bonds: (Name of beneficiary) (His Social Security Number), for whom (Your name) is representative payee for Social Security benefits
 

How to title an account if you are a VA fiduciary

For bank accounts: (Name of beneficiary) by (Your name), fiduciary OR (Your name), fiduciary for (Name of beneficiary)

For U.S. savings bonds: (Name of beneficiary) (His Social Security Number), under custodianship by designation of the Department of Veterans Affairs