After serving their country, veterans deserve time and care when it comes to planning their estate and setting up how they will live the rest of their lives. To thank them for their incredible service to the country, veterans receive several benefits to help them through the later stages of their lives. Because of this, it’s important to consider your estate and how you’d like your assets distributed.
Whether you are looking at benefits you can utilize as a veteran or veteran benefits that can help your family as they care for you later in life, an attorney can help you determine what benefits you are owed and how to take advantage of them.
What Are Some of the Veteran Benefits You Can Take Advantage of?
As veterans age, their needs might be different from most people. From physical injuries to PTSD, care for later life issues will likely be an important consideration. Fortunately, veterans may receive financial assistance with long term care. The “Aid and Attendance” program offers help and funds to assist veterans or their spouses if they ever face the need to be placed into a long-term care facility. Through the program, veterans who are eligible can receive up to $26,000 annually to assist with any specific medical expenses or care that takes place over an extended period. A veteran’s family also benefits from this program, with eligible widowed spouses being able to receive $14,000 annually for similar medical or long-term care.
This money can be used to pay any caretaker, from medical professionals and home care to the veteran’s children if they are the ones giving care. These funds can also be utilized when paying for any assisted living or nursing home care, as well as other medical needs like insurance costs or even prescription drugs.
Unfortunately, many veterans don’t know about this crucial benefit or what they need to do to take advantage of it. An experienced estate planning attorney for the Metro East area can help you understand the steps you need to take to receive this benefit.
What Are the Requirements to Be Eligible for Aid and Attendance?
To be eligible for Aid and Attendance, the veteran applying needs to be over 65 years old or, alternatively, unemployable, and dealing with medical issues for which the funds can be used. Also, as part of qualifying, the veteran applying must have actively served for at least 90 days. In addition, one of the days the veteran served must have served while at war and have received an honorable discharge during the process.
There are other specified regulations mentioned in the Veterans Administration that are required to qualify, such as having too many assets to be eligible for Aid and Attendance. You can, however, reevaluate your estate and restructure specific assets to become eligible for Aid and Attendance. Similar specific requirements and regulations apply to any spouse looking to qualify for the program, with one of the primary rules being that said spouse must possess no greater than $80,000 of assets.
If I Am Injured on Duty, What Are Other Benefits Available?
If you were injured or formed a specific disease during your active-duty service that left you with a disability, there are benefit programs set to assist in covering some of your medical costs. These programs include disability compensation, as well as a disability pension.
With a disability pension, you and any other veteran who sustained a disability during a time of war will receive payout similar to other pensions to financially support the disabled veteran. Military disability compensation, however, requires the disabled veteran to specifically have a service-connected disability, meaning any injuries or disabilities sustained due to their service in the military. In this case, the total compensation given to the veteran will depend on the severity of their disability.
What Are Important Planning Steps for Veterans?
Along with securing injury or end-of-life care, planning your estate and retirement are also crucial to ensure you and your family have a solid financial future. You want to be sure to organize your estate in a way that allows for your assets to grow and for your family to be protected and financially secure in the event of your death.
By setting up things like a trust, making sure your will is up to date, and planning your estate, as well as naming all proper beneficiaries and trustees to receive or manage your estate, you can rest assured that your affairs are in order.
Q: What Are Important Stipulations to Include in my Will as a Veteran Regarding Life Care?
A: The creator of the will dictates things like inheritance and beneficiaries. They also spell out how they want their end-of-life care to take place. It is important to clarify important details like if you wish to remain on a ventilator, how you would like to be buried, and other end-of-life clarifications in your will.
Q: Should I Set Up a Trust Fund?
A: By moving your assets into a trust fund, you can protect your assets from taxation and probate. You can also ensure your loved ones receive their inheritance more quickly after your passing.
Q: What Percentage of Veterans Qualify for Disability Assistance in America?
A: Approximately one-third of U.S. military veterans suffer from a disability, and the age group of veterans is anywhere from 21-64 years old. These disabilities range from physical impairments to mental health issues like PTSD.
Q: What Are Qualifying Disabilities for Veteran Disability Compensation?
A: To qualify for veteran disability compensation, the veteran in question must have developed or sustained the disability while on active duty.
Get Help With Your Veteran Benefits
If you are a veteran looking to plan your estate and set up the best life for you and your family, Stange Law Firm’s family law attorney can guide you through every step of the process. Contact us today for a consultation. We understand how challenging it can be to wade through red tape to get the compensation you deserve after serving your country.