38 CFR 14.705 - Authority to file petitions for appointment of fiduciaries in State courts.
(a)Adult beneficiary. The Regional Counsel is authorized to file or cause to be filed on behalf of a petitioner in a case coming within § 14.706(a) a petition for the appointment of a fiduciary and all necessary legal papers for an adult beneficiary only if it has been determined that alternative methods of payment would not be to the best interests of the beneficiary and when the Regional Counsel has obtained the written consent of:
(1) The beneficiary's spouse.
(2) The beneficiary's adult child, parent, adult brother or sister if the beneficiary is unmarried, or consent of the spouse is immaterial because of estrangement or mental incapacity, or refusal to consent coupled with failure to offer adequate alternative means for providing for the beneficiary's needs.
(3) A civil official or representative of a cooperating agency when none of the relative listed in paragraph (a) (1) and (2) of this section can be located after reasonable inquiry or those located are not mentally competent to consent or refuse without offering adequate alternative means for providing for the needs of the beneficiary.
(b)Minor beneficiaries. The Regional Counsel is authorized to file or cause to be filed on behalf of a petitioner in a case coming within § 14.706(a) a petition for the appointment of a fiduciary for a minor. If permissible under the law of the jurisdiction concerned and if it has been determined that protection of the minor's rights under laws administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs requires the appointment, provided: the written consent of the minor's natural or adoptive parent or parents or the person or persons occupying the relationship of “in loco parentis” as defined, by the law of the jurisdiction, in which they reside has been obtained. The Regional Counsel will not institute a court proceeding for the appointment of a fiduciary over the objections of such parent or parents if they are sui juris unless the parent or parents have abandoned the minor or have otherwise refused to meet their parental obligations toward the minor or they have previously been appointed or recognized as the minor's fiduciary and failed to properly execute the duties of their trust. If the minor has no parent or the parent or parents are not sui juris, the Regional Counsel may file the petition without the consent of any relative.
(c)Court-appointed fiduciaries. In court-appointed fiduciary cases, the Regional Counsel may appear in the court of appointment or in any court having original, concurrent, or appellate jurisdiction, and make proper presentation relating to the foregoing matters. The Regional Counsel's authority includes by is not limited to:
(1) Petitioning the court to cite a fiduciary to account;
(2) Filing exceptions to accountings;
(3) Requiring fiduciaries to file bonds or make any necessary adjustments;
(4) Requiring investments;
(5) Filing petitions to vacate or modify court orders;
(6) Appearing or intervening in any State court as attorney for the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in litigation instituted by the Secretary or otherwise affecting money paid to such fiduciary by the Department of Veterans Affairs;
(7) Incurring necessary court costs and other expenses, including witness fees, appeal bonds, advertising in any newspaper or other publication, preparing briefs or transcripts, purchase of records of trial or other records;
(8) Instituting any other action necessary to secure proper administration of the estate of a Department of Veterans Affairs beneficiary, such as filing petitions for the removal of a fiduciary and appointment of a successor;
(9) Taking appropriate action to recover funds improperly disbursed.
(d)Appeal. Unless a trial is de novo, no appeal shall be taken to an appellate court and no costs incurred in connection therewith without the prior approval of the General Counsel and the Under Secretary for Benefits or their designees.