VETERANS BENEFITS

Veterans Benefits

Estate planning helps give you peace of mind knowing that you have planned for your loved ones and property after your death.

An estate plan ensures that your heirs are cared for in the way you want. An estate plan also can save you and your loved ones’ time and money. It is crucial for Active Duty Veterans to have the basic elements of their Estate Plan in place. Some of the available benefits are government-sponsored and therefore automatic, but for some of the available benefits, the family members must apply to the appropriate authorities to receive the available benefits.

The U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs offers a generous amount of up to $2,000.00 for the purpose of burial expenses for service-related deaths on or after September 11, 2001.

For non-service-related deaths, the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs pays up to $300.00 for burial and funeral expenses and a $300.00 plot-interment allowance for deaths on or after December 1, 2001. Some or all of the transportation costs of the remains from a Veterans’ Affairs nursing home or hospital to a cemetery may also be reimbursed.

The Victoria Law Group is available to answer to your queries regarding available Veterans Benefits.

Understanding your rights and benefits as a veteran (or spouse of a veteran) can impact your estate planning decisions, and honestly, should impact your estate planning decisions.  

We represent Veterans and their dependents (e.g. spouses, dependent children). 

Please contact us if you need any assistance in terms of Veterans Benefits in Estate Planning.

Top Questions For Veterans Benefits:

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Top 10 Questions For Veterans Benefits:

The entitlements and issues revolving around  Veterans’ benefits can be  complicated and  challenging to understand. Still, there are ways of helping to ensure that descendants are provided for after a Veteran passes. The Victoria Law Group can simplify the  significant provisions  for you to understand the entitlements and the provisions. 

Part of the estate planning process should include supplementing a Basic  Will with instructions regarding how these benefits can be accessed, along with documentation of the Veteran’s military service. Specifically, written instructions should exemplify the various benefits to which the   Veteran’s children may be entitled, including support payments, educational opportunities and  counselling services. From there, the executor of the Will or the guardian of the children can begin to do some research to determine what the children are entitled to. 

The VA (The Department of Veterans Affairs) offers a variety of benefits to  Veterans. Some of these include:

  • Death Gratuity
  • Veterans Funeral Benefits
  • Veterans Health and Dental Care
  • Pension Programs and Veterans Pensions
  • Dependency Compensation
  • Retiree Benefits
  • Tragedy Assistance Program
  • Veteran Disability Compensation
  • And a variety of survivor benefits

Probate is a process that is supervised by the Courts in the State of Florida. The process is governed by the Florida Probate Code (which is a part of Florida Statutes) and the Florida Probate Rules. Probate proceedings are filed with the circuit court where jurisdiction depends on the deceased person’s last resided place. Transfer of ownership of assets through a Trust, on the other hand, does not involve filing through a court and is much simpler that way.This Veteran Pension provides  Veterans and their families with supplemental income in order to assist them in meeting financial challenges. This benefit is tax-free and is available to wartime  Veterans with a low income. 

 To be eligible for this benefit, a  Veteran must have served a minimum of 90 days in active duty. At least 1 of those 90 days must have been during a wartime period. A  Veteran who served after September 7, 1980, must have served 24 months, with at least one day during a wartime period.

One may expect the cost of forming a Trust to vary depending on the size of the Estate, the number and variety of assets in the Estate, and the number of attorney hours associated with drafting the Trust.If your spouse or parent is a deceased  Veteran who served during a wartime period, you may be eligible for a Survivors Pension. This benefit, also known as a Death Pension, is also tax-free. 

It is paid out to the un-remarried spouses and children of qualified, deceased  Veterans. The service requirements are the same as for the Veterans Pension. 

Additionally, the  Veteran must have been discharged from the military  other than under dishonorable conditions. Suppose you are applying for this benefit as a child of the  Veteran. In that case, you must be either under the age of 18, under the age of 23 and attending a Veteran’s Administration-approved school, or have been disabled before you reached age 18.

To lessen the overall burden, Veteran’s funeral benefits are provided as part of a comprehensive death benefits package. This Veterans’ aid package will pay $300 for funeral expenses, plus an additional $300 for plot internment. Burial flags and a burial stone are also available.

Veterans and their spouses are entitled to a plot at the National Cemetery and arrangements can be made for a color guard or burial with honors if the Veteran is eligible for these honors. Veterans are not required to be buried in a National Cemetery, though.  Veterans may be buried in a cemetery with their family members or some other place of special importance, and their estates may still receive the allowances for burial and funeral expenses.

Veterans medical benefits are available to those who served in active military duty who were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Health care benefits are offered through the Veterans Health Administration, at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics located throughout the country.

Survivor benefit plans (SBP) are pension-type plans in the form of an annuity that will pay your surviving spouse and children a monthly benefit. Likewise, dependency and indemnity compensation (D&IC) provides a monthly benefit to eligible survivors of service-members or veterans (1) who  died while on active duty, (2) whose death is due to a service-related disease or injury or (3) who are receiving or entitled to receive VA compensation for service-related disability and are  disabled. 

You can expect an estate  plan professional to assist you  in setting up the following:

  • Powers of attorney for limited and general financial matters, as well as health care decisions (there are very helpful when a spouse is deployed);
  • Medicaid Planning?
  • Funeral and burial arrangements;
  • Wills and  Living Wills;
  • Organ donation;
  • Family care plans;
  • Life insurance;
  • Trusts;
  • Estate taxes;
  • VA benefits and survivor benefits; and
  • Estate administration or probate.

An estate plan has a plethora of objectives: to provide for your family’s financial security, ensure that your property is preserved and passed on to your beneficiaries, and determine who will manage your assets upon your death, among others. 

The first step in being able to get  Veterans’ benefits is to be aware of what types of benefits you should qualify for. Many  Veterans do not know the full measure of benefits that could be available to them, and thus fail to take advantage of programs which could make life much  more comfortable as they age. 

Once you have determined which programs you should be eligible to receive benefits through, your next steps will be to complete the required forms and provide documentation which is necessary to prove your eligibility. The VA has a complex bureaucracy and technology at the VA does not always work very well, so it is often up to you to provide proof of your service history and  your eligibility.

While people at the VA can provide some assistance to you, understaffing means you may not get the attention that you need. An experienced VA benefits lawyer can help you make sure that you understand the information you need to provide and that you submit a complete and comprehensive application, so there is no delay in getting the benefits you need. Once your application has been submitted, we can follow up on your behalf, keep the application process moving forward, and do everything possible to make sure you get all of the different benefits you should be eligible for.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers life insurance for  Veterans, which is Veterans’ Group Life Insurance. This allows  Veterans to continue life insurance after completing military service. The policy provides  lifetime coverage providing insurance premiums are met. Proof of good health is not required to continue to receive life insurance benefits.