Estate Planning for Veterans

A comprehensive estate plan includes wills, trusts, and directives. These documents indicate how a person wants their property and accounts, or “estate”, to be managed in the event that they are incapacitated. Estate planning is crucial for anyone who has assets they want to protect or a family they want to support. Veterans and their families in particular can benefit from keeping an up-to-date estate plan.

Military service requires you to be ready for anything, so most veterans understand why having documented plans for the future is a necessity. There are a variety of estate planning options available for veterans and active service military, including accounting services, legal assistance, and survivor benefits. Additionally, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) sponsors a program that connects veterans to fiduciaries who can manage their assets. VA fiduciary matters also include any VA benefit payments.

Your next achievement

If you served in the armed forces, then you deserve to return with the peace of mind that your family and your finances will be taken care of no matter what. An estate plan can give you that sense of security.

There are a few documents that are common across all estate plans, as well as some that are specific to estate planning for veterans. For example, most people will have a power of attorney and living will in their estate plan. These documents appoint individuals to make financial and medical decisions, respectively, on your behalf. Many people also have a last will and testament to dictate their posthumous wishes, as well as a trust to manage and protect assets to be passed to your descendants.

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In addition to these common estate planning documents, veterans will often have to consider survivor benefits. These benefits support surviving family members in the event you pass away during your military service. Some benefits are automatically distributed by the VA, while others require an application from the family. You may also have life insurance through your military service which can be used to support family members as well. Overall, any legal documents that concern the security of you, your family, and your assets should be included in the estate plan.

Your lasting legacy

Whether you’re an active duty service member or a long discharged veteran, estate planning is essential for protecting your family and your legacy. But don’t wait until an emergency to have your wishes planned. We recommend getting everything in order well in advance so that you’re fully prepared for unforeseen events.

Looking for support with estate planning for veterans? As a veteran himself, Rod Hatley strives to help veterans and their families attain the maximum degree of independence, stability, and financial well-being.

The Hatley Law Group services the San Diego, California area and is an excellent resource no matter what stage of life you’re in: Single, Married, blended, retired, and estate planning when nearing retirement.

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