As we observed Veterans Day on November 11th (and throughout the month as a whole) we are reminded of the sacrifices that are made by our country’s veterans so that we can all remain free. Generations of service members have contributed to the ongoing freedoms that Americans enjoy. As we observe this important holiday, we would like to touch upon estate planning and elder law as it applies to veterans.
When you are planning your estate you should consider the matter of legacy planning. Leaving behind a balance in a bank account is one thing, and it is an important thing. We all need financial resources.
However, the life that you have lived has meaning beyond dollars and cents. As you go through life you are in a very real sense making history to one extent or another. The experiences that you have had are meaningful, and they should be shared if this is at all possible. This is true for everyone.
This having been stated, veterans are in a unique position. They have had experiences that they should certainly share with their loved ones. There is a great deal of history there, and legacy planning can involve leaving behind memoirs.
Your family members can benefit from the lessons that you learned during your military service. And of course, your memoirs can include the totality of your life beyond your experiences in the armed forces.
Veterans estate planning involves preparing for your death, but it should also include preparations for the latter portion of your life. There are benefits available to veterans, and you should be well aware of everything that you have earned through your service.
If you consult with a licensed elder law attorney as you create a comprehensive plan for aging as a former service member you can be certain that you are taking full advantage of all of your benefits.
One of these benefits that is often overlooked is the Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension.
Most senior citizens are going to someday need assistance with their day-to-day needs. This would include things like bathing, grooming, cooking, etc. This assistance can be costly.
Veterans who have served for at least one day during a time of war out of a total of 90 days of service at minimum may qualify for this special pension that will provide a monthly benefit. This benefit is intended to provide the former service member with some help paying for living assistance.
It should be noted that the surviving spouse of a service member could also be qualified to receive help through the Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension.
In closing, during this month of remembrance we would like to express our sincere gratitude to those who have served.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.