With more estate planning techniques and insights becoming more widely available, it’s more possible then ever to look out for your family, though it’s estimated that two out of three Americans still have not made a will. Veterans and active duty service members, have a unique understanding of the importance of planning. Here is advice from lawyers jumpstart creation of a will and related legal documents.
Make a Will
So many of us never get around to making a will, which is understandable in many ways. It’s of course excruciating to think about our mortality and imagine our families going on without us. Lawyers at Trust&Will offer this encouragement for service members and veterans:
One of the shared traits among all military families is adaptability. Between long training periods, new orders, relocating across the country, or to a new country entirely, military families take on many challenges and give them their all—together. That also means preparing for the future and everything it may have in store. Military life is full of the unexpected, and service members and their families need to be prepared for anything. A Will is a vital legal document that allows you to specify who will handle your affairs after death, determine how to distribute your assets, and designate who will take care of your children. Having a Will allows you to do your job, knowing that those to whom you hold dear will be protected if anything should happen to you, on or off the job
Documents You’ll Prepare
When you work with a lawyer to prepare a will, you will put some related legal documents together too. Collectively, these documents are likely the greatest gift you can give your family. Courtesy of Trust&Will, here’s a breakdown—and the terminology to know as you get going:
A Power of Attorney is a legal document establishing a person responsible for making business, legal, and financial decisions on your behalf. If you are incapacitated or otherwise unable to manage your affairs, your Attorney can do it for you…
A Will allows you to name a Legal Guardian for your minor or special needs children. Many parents find it comforting to know who might take care of their children if the unthinkable were to happen.
Your Will is the simplest way to leave important items and cherished assets to your family and other heirs…In addition to sentimental items, you can also pass down property…You can also designate who should receive your financial accounts, like your checking, savings, and retirement accounts, in your Will.
When you work with a lawyer you can also put health powers of attorney in place, enabling others to make appropriate decisions for you, should you become unable to do so. As well, you’ll appoint a loved one, friend or professional to serve as your fiduciary. This person is generally referred to as an executor, or personal representative, depending on the circumstances and location. Ultimately, your designee will serve as the administrator of your affairs, in accordance with the intentions set forth in your will—and the law. Given the responsibilities involved, executors are often required to secure a bond. Essentially, an executor bond is a type of fiduciary bond—it guarantees that the executor will carry out all duties in accordance with the law. Colonial Surety, a leading expert in the field, makes it easy to secure executor and other fiduciary bonds online. The steps are easy—get a quote online, fill out the information, and enter a payment method. The bond can be printed or e-filed from anywhere, even the law office.
Good To Know
Military One Source provides additional guidance and resources about estate planning for military families. For example, some families find it helpful to establish a trust in addition to or instead of a will when making estate plans.
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