Estate planning or as some might call it legacy planning is something every adult should consider, and it is of particular importance for veterans and their families. Military service can be a risky career, and it’s important that you and your loved ones have a legal plan in place to administer your legacy. This piece will give a summary of the basics related to wills and trusts and how these can come into play for wounded, ill, or injured veterans. Execution of documents such as a will should not be done without the assistance of an attorney. The attorneys at Velasco Law Group are well-equipped to handle what can be a complex process of estate and your legacy planning for veterans and their families.
The contents of your estate plan will vary depending on your specific needs and circumstances. A will and a trust are different, and both are important tools to creating an estate plan. A will defines where various assets (property in your name) go upon death and can name guardians and trustees for minor children or incapacitated persons. It can also list who will take charge of your estate and what will happen to your debts and funeral expenses. A trust creates a legal relationship wherein the trustee holds property for the benefit of the beneficiary, who could be the grantor, the trustee, or anyone else.[i]
If your family member is a veteran who needs caretaking, there are legal tools to ensure this care is received in the event of your passing. The attorneys at Velasco Law Group can help you create a plan that may include pour-over provisions, an advance health care directive, and power of attorney. There is a broad range of benefits and services to which parents, spouses, and/or children might be entitled from the VA’s Veterans Benefits Administration when a service-member or veteran is deceased or totally and permanently disabled by a service-connected disability. These may include partial reimbursement for burial expenses, for example.[ii]
In addition to wills and trusts, other documents and factors to consider are survivor benefits, long-term care and insurance, a living will, burial arrangements, power of attorney, etc. Because the documents included in estate planning can be complicated and you or your veteran’s specific needs will dictate the options that work for your family, it is best to work with an attorney experienced in estate planning and military/veterans benefits, like those at Velasco Law Group, when drafting these documents.
Estate planning is important regardless of your financial situation. In fact, it may be more important if you have a smaller estate because the final expenses will have a greater impact on your estate. Your estate planning may be relatively simple, but it should be done with an attorney so you can rest easy knowing your plan has been customized to the needs of your estate and loved ones. The knowledgeable attorneys at Velasco Law Group can ensure that your legal documents and estate plan comply with the appropriate laws.
Whether you are one of our brave veterans, or you’re the family member of one, the lawyers at Velasco Law Group can help you take the important steps to legally ensure the outcome you desire should you no longer able to advocate for yourself – we are here to protect your legacy. The sooner your desires and assets are legally secured through an estate plan, the better. We provide consultations in both English and Spanish at any of our three office locations in Long Beach, Downey and Irvine. Contact us for your initial complimentary consultation HERE