You may have heard from financial advisors, lawyers, and others that it is in your best interest to create what is called an “estate plan.” At its core, an estate plan is a collection of documents that protects your assets and personal property and explains how you would like to pass them down to others. While you may want to avoid uncomfortable questions like “What happens to my belongings after I die?” for as long as possible, estate planning is crucial to check off your to-do list while you are still able to think and function properly. After all, it is never too early to begin planning for the future.
If you’re a former member of the armed forces, the experienced lawyers at Patriot Legal Group may be able to assist you. We are committed to listening carefully to your needs and objectives and providing guidance about which components of an estate plan can best be utilized to suit your goals. Likewise, our lawyers may be able to help you secure unique military benefits like pensions, medical care, and other benefits offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which are essential to consider when devising an estate plan. Contact us today for help protecting your future.
What is an Estate Plan?
Before you plan how you can utilize your military benefits when drafting an estate plan, it is first important to understand the basics. What is an estate plan, and how can it help you?
You may hear the word “estate” and think of mansions and sprawling grounds, but you do not have to be wealthy to have an estate. An estate consists of all property that a person owns, including real estate, cars, cash, and other assets. Simply put, estate planning is the process of setting up how these assets and property will be distributed upon your death. Through an estate plan, you can ensure your assets are given to the people and groups about whom you care most. Likewise, estate plans can minimize the amount of taxes your family and estate will incur after you are gone.
Estate planning is a crucial venture, even for those who are not particularly wealthy, but it can also be complicated. Fortunately, an experienced Orlando estate planning lawyer with a thorough understanding of the state and federal laws that affect estate planning can help you create and finalize a last will and testament, living trust, power of attorney, and more! An estate planning attorney may be able to assist you with the following tasks:
- Creating a will
- Establishing a durable power of attorney
- Designating your beneficiaries
- Finding ways to sidestep the probate court process
- Avoiding estate tax when possible
- Setting up any trusts you may need to protect your assets.
At Patriot Legal Group, our team has helped hundreds of clients with their estate plans and is committed to guiding you and your family with compassion and sensitivity.
Understanding Estate Planning for Veterans
Serving in the U.S. military is a dangerous, challenging, and noble career path that offers opportunities and experiences that few jobs can rival. In addition to the common estate planning considerations, a veteran’s access to special benefits and resources must be considered when creating an estate plan. The programs available to veterans and their beneficiaries through the Department of Veterans Affairs are wide-ranging and cover, among other things, employment, training, disability benefits, health care, education, life insurance, education, home loans, and survivor benefits. Here are a few to note:
If you die as a result of an injury or illness sustained or aggravated during your service, your survivors may be eligible to benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense. Some benefits will apply naturally, but there are others for which your family must apply.
Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance
Service members have life insurance through Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance. Based on the benefit amount you wish to provide to your family, you may consider supplementing your SGLI with another life insurance policy.
Funeral and Burial Arrangements
Involving funeral and burial arrangements in your estate plan helps guarantee that your final wishes are carried out. Your family is also qualified to receive funeral and burial benefits through Veterans Affairs.
Aid and Attendance Benefits
For eligible veterans who require assistance when performing daily living tasks, Aid and Attendance benefits available through the VA pension program can play a critical role in their long-term care. The benefit provides a monthly allowance to assist veterans and surviving spouses in paying for the help that they need.
Contact an Experienced Orlando Estate Planning Lawyer Today
The estate planning specialists at Patriot Legal Group help veterans develop estate plans designed to meet their long-term financial goals. Our team of expert lawyers has helped many military veterans with estate planning and is dedicated to leading you and your family with sensitivity and compassion. We intimately understand how confusing and difficult this process can be, which is why we are dedicated to standing by your side and safeguarding your legal rights.
Our client-centered approach removes the guesswork and creates a smooth and pain-free process for you and your family. To help create an estate plan and ensure that you utilize all the military benefits that pertain to you, give us a call at (407) 737-7222 or complete our online contact form today.