Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Estate Planning Basics Every Military Service Person Needs to Know

“Estate planning is not just for the wealthy,” Military One Source reminds servicemen and women. If something should happen to you:
  • What happens to your property?
  • Who cares for your children?
  • Who oversees your finances when you can’t?
  • Who oversees your health care options when you can’t?
Members of the military also need to know about these two special estate planning-related benefits:

Survivor benefit program
This Department of Defense sponsored and subsidized program provides up to 55% of a service member’s retired pay to an eligible beneficiary. The coverage is at no cost to members on active duty, to reservists who die of a service-connected cause.  Active duty members can purchase coverage upon retirement. Reservists can elect coverage when they have 20 years of qualifying service.

Burial benefits
For a service-related death, the Veterans’ Administration will pay up to $2,000 toward burial expenses for deaths. If the Veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, some or all of the cost of transporting the deceased may be reimbursed. For a non-service-related death, The VA pays up to $780 toward burial and funeral expenses (this amount applies if the serviceman or woman was hospitalized by VA at time of death); if that is not true, the amount is $300.

Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates assists wartime veterans or their surviving spouses in obtaining VA non-service connected pension benefits as well. Besides the Basic Pension, there are two allowances that can create a larger benefit:

The veteran must be unable to leave the house without assistance for employment purposes.

Aid & Attendance
The veteran requires assistance in performing at least two activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, feeding, toileting, taking meds).

At Geyer Law, our focus is on the Veteran’s Benefits Administration, one of three areas in the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, working to help veterans and surviving spouses obtain the cash benefits to which they are entitled.

There are estate planning basics every military service person - and every spouse of that military service person -  needs to know.

 - by Rebecca Geyer

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