Service members and their families in New Jersey have unique estate and military benefits planning needs. At E.A. Goodman Law LLC, our trusts and estates attorneys are well-versed in the military benefits and programs offered to active duty military members and veterans and work to help them design comprehensive estate plans.
Individuals who have served in the United States military may be eligible for pension, medical care, and other benefits offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) which makes careful estate planning crucial. When you become our client, we will work closely with you to help you achieve your long-term goals and prepare for the future. Contact our Morristown office today to set up a consultation.
What Types of Military Benefits Are Available in Estate Planning?
There are several benefits service members and veterans must consider in an estate plan, including:
The veteran’s pension is a needs-based benefit that provides tax-free supplemental income to qualifying veterans with a permanent disability or limited income who are unable to work. To be eligible for the veteran’s pension, there are certain criteria including time in service, age, financial situation, and more.
Survivor’s Pension and Benefits
Children or spouses of a deceased veteran who served during wartime may be eligible for the Survivors Pension, also known as a Death Pension. This tax-free pension is paid to spouses of qualified, deceased veterans and their children, provided the deceased veteran meets the criteria mentioned above. Other survivor benefits may also be available from the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Some benefits are automatic, others must be applied for.
Health Care Benefits
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) offers health care benefits to veterans with a history of active military duty and who were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.
Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance
Service members have access to life insurance through Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance that provides a determined benefit amount to surviving family members. It may also be possible to supplement SGLI with another life insurance policy.
Veterans Life Insurance
The VA offers group life insurance for veterans that allows them to continue life insurance after completing military service. The policy offers lifetime coverage providing insurance premiums are met.
Other Military Benefits
The VA and other federal and state agencies offer several other benefits for qualified veterans, including education and career services, home loans, small business loans, support for post-traumatic stress disorder, and burial benefits.
Providing Servicemembers With Estate and Military Benefits Planning Services
Our experienced military benefits planning attorney can help you obtain all the benefits you need and deserve and design a plan to protect your financial future and your family. We know that no two families are the same and understand the unique needs and challenges of military families.
Ultimately, estate planning is about addressing circumstances that may arise should something happen to you. What happens to your property? Who will care for your children? Who will manage your finances and make health care decisions if you are unable to do so?
By making important decisions now about your real estate, investments, military benefits, and other assets, you will have peace of mind knowing that your affairs are in order and your loved ones will be protected in the event of your death.
Our trusts and estates attorneys will work with you to prepare essential estate planning documents, including:
- Last will and testament (will) — This legal document allows you to declare how your property will be managed and distributed after your death, name guardians to care for your children, and establish funeral and burial plans.
- Power of attorney — This document names a trusted person to act on your behalf on legal and financial matters if you become unable to manage your own affairs.
- Advance healthcare directive — Also referred to as a healthcare proxy, this document designates someone to act as your healthcare representative and make medical decisions when you cannot communicate your preferences.
- Revocable living trust — A living trust is primarily designed to avoid the cost of probate in terms of time and expense, and maintain the privacy of the distribution plan; however, all trusts must go through a trust administration phase.
- Irrevocable trust — There are a variety of irrevocable trusts that are designed for long-term care planning, providing for a loved one with special needs, and other estate planning objectives.
These are fundamental components of an estate plan for servicemembers and their families who can look to E.A. Goodman Law for trustworthy advice and counsel. When you become our client, you can rest assured that your service will be honored, your military benefits will be preserved, and your future and your family will be secure.
Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Military Benefits Planning Attorneys
At E.A. Goodman Law LLC, we are committed to providing members of the military and veterans with compassionate, efficient representation and caring personal service. We understand the challenges of navigating the VA system, obtaining military benefits, and preparing for the future. Contact us today to get started.