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Taking Care of Our Patriots

Legal Matters


Presented by: Bradford & Holliman, Estate Planning Community Partner Logo 20 Years 150x150

Long-term care and estate planning are important for everyone, but veterans also need to consider their benefits from the Veterans Administration (VA). Since many veterans go on to other careers after their military service, they can better plan how to use their civilian and veteran benefits with elder law attorneys who are also accredited by the VA.

During military careers, veterans’ families serve, too – holidays without their family members, frequent moves, and worry about their military family members’ safety. Military families should be familiar with the long-term care, disability benefits, pensions, and home loan guarantees that come with military service. For example, veterans’ ages (above or below 65) make a difference in the benefits to help with daily living needs for both veterans and their spouses.

Although veterans can complete applications on their own, the chances of being approved first time through and timing other benefits appropriately are better with experienced help. A VA-accredited attorney can help your family understand the restrictions and requirements for service-connected disability benefits or VA pension long-term planning and put those into the context of their other benefits from employers, Social Security, or Medicaid – all of which have different rules.

The Veterans Administration updated several rules in October 2018 which are impacting veterans. For example, the VA now has a 36-month “look-back” period on the use of assets. A penalty (delay of benefits) of up to five years is possible for assets that were distributed inappropriately during that 36 months. If you foresee the prospect of needing veteran benefits in you or your family’s future, you should plan years in advance.

Even after veterans pass away and life insurance and burial benefits have been used, their families may be eligible for other VA benefits. VA Aid and Assistance benefits help veterans during their lives and surviving spouses by paying for both home-based and community-based care for illnesses that require long-term care.

As we celebrate Independence Day with hot dogs, music, and fireworks, let’s also salute the patriots and their families who have secured our freedoms for generations.

-Melanie B. Holliman, JD Melanie Bradford

Partner at Bradford & Holliman

Estate Planning, Trusts & Special Needs

No representation is made that the quality of the legal service to be performed is greater than the quality of service performed by other lawyers.

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