Whether you are creating a living will, looking for beneficiaries, setting up a plan for your estate, or dictating your health care and end-of-life wishes, it is important to get a jump start preparing your family’s financial future.
If you are considering crafting an estate plan as a person currently in the military or as a veteran, then discussing your situation with a Springfield estate planning attorney can help you every step of the way. When you’re ready, consider the following steps to help you get started, then contact our firm. We have the experience and skills to ensure your military pension and estate are handled in such a way that your wishes are carried out and your family is cared for.
What Are Details I Should Include in My Will as a Serviceperson in the Military?
When writing your will, it is important to cover several key components and clarifications. First, you want to dictate who is going to be receiving key assets and inheritance upon your death, so you need to establish the individuals you are naming as your beneficiaries. Beneficiaries are the individuals who are set to receive any posthumous gifts, funds, or possessions from your estate.
As part of your will, you will also explain how you want any future medical care or funeral arrangements to take place. When writing your will, detail how you want to be treated in end-of-life care, specifying key things like if you wish to remain on a ventilator, how you want hospice to handle your final days, and other similar requests so that your medical wishes are followed. For funeral arrangements, you need to clarify if you prefer to be buried or cremated, the location and events of your funeral, and other burial rights and preferences.
Who Should I Set as The Power of Attorney and Trust as a Military Serviceperson?
When creating a will and planning an estate, you must set a power of attorney. This person is going to oversee your estate and enforce that your will’s directives come to fruition. When establishing a power of attorney, it is important to pick someone you trust, as well as someone who is emotionally and mentally available for the responsibilities that come with this title. You can designate a trusted family member like a spouse or child to this position or even a close friend.
It is also possible to set an attorney or accountant up as your power of attorney or trustee, and this has its own number of advantages. By using a third party with expertise in estate law, you can alleviate some of the stress of ensuring a will is enforced professionally. This also can be of great help to your loved ones because they don’t have the added struggle of managing your accounts and assets while they are also grieving over your passing.
How Much of My Estate Planning Should I Include With My Family and Children?
While it can be sad to bring up the fact you won’t always be around with your family and children, it is incredibly important to include them in any discussions regarding your estate plan, as well as your will. By helping to let them know you have a plan if anything were to happen to you, you can alleviate their stress as well as keep them informed on important policy information and specific wishes.
Additionally, keep your family informed of where you are storing any important documents like a will, health and life insurance plans, or similar papers of equal importance. This way, no matter what happens to you, your family has the tools they need to secure financial inheritance and the asset protections you left them.
Should I Create a Trust for My Assets?
One of the best ways to avoid probate, inheritance taxes, and other frustrations for your family is to put your assets into a trust fund. A trust fund allows you to utilize it as a collective portfolio for any assets or funds and establish a trustee to manage these items. Upon your death, the trust will be immediately transferred to your beneficiary. A trust is one of the best tools to organize your assets for later distribution.
Q: As a Military Serviceperson, What Are Some Other Benefits and Assets to Consider That You Might Receive?
A: There are a number of programs that should be taken into account when planning your estate and writing your will. Programs like Aid and Assist are available to veterans over 65 or unable to work, which helps to fund medical expenses like a caregiver, medicine, and the like. For disabled veterans, there is veteran disability compensation as well as disability pensions.
Q: What Is the Average Age a Service Member Should Write a Will?
A: A military serviceperson should not go into active duty without having an active and valid will, regardless of their age. Writing a will is incredibly simple and does not even require a lawyer. To write a valid will, the testator simply has to write their wishes on a physical piece of paper, sign the will, and have two witnesses present when signing it.
Q: How Many Years Do You Need to Serve to Qualify for Lifetime Monthly Annuity When Retiring From the Military?
A: To qualify under the military lifetime monthly annuity, you will need to be in service for 20 years. If you served 20 years before retiring, you will likely qualify. It is also important to note that the maximum retirement age from the military is 62, though with the exception of 68 if you become a chaplain.
Military Estate Planning from Stange Law Firm
If you are serving in the military, it is important to get a start on your estate planning. Because those in the military and those who have already served may have complicated estates, an attorney is a crucial asset. For further guidance and expertise, be sure to reach out to Stange Law Firm’s Springfield family law attorneys to schedule a consultation.