Building Your Estate Plan
If you are new to estate planning and have no documents in place, you should start by creating a will, trust, or both. These tools allow you to specify who will receive your assets when you pass away. Your will also allows you to name a guardian for your minor children and a person to oversee the estate administration process.
If you die without a will, your state government will ultimately decide how your assets will be distributed – and there is a good chance that distribution will differ from what you would have preferred. In many cases, you will benefit from more than a simple will. A trust can also facilitate asset distribution, but it gives you additional flexibility and privacy. Assets placed in trusts are not subject to the cumbersome probate process, which means your loved ones can typically receive their inheritances faster (and without court involvement).
In addition to a will and/or trust, it may be a good idea to create a Memorandum for Distribution of Tangible Personal Property. Our national Veterans estate planning attorney can review all available asset distribution mechanisms and ensure the tools you choose are consistent with your goals.
Many Veterans wish to leave specific items to specific loved ones, even if the individual items are only sentimental in value. If you do not describe these wishes in written form, it will probably be up to your surviving family to determine who receives what. Forcing your children to divide personal property among themselves, for example, could result in bitter arguments and negative emotions. A personal property memorandum can help you avoid these unnecessary conflicts. Furthermore, your children and other loved ones will appreciate the thought you have put into deciding who will specifically get certain items of sentimental importance.
A personal property memorandum can also be modified more easily than a will. Whenever you wish to update your will, you will need to execute a codicil or an entirely new drat, which involves gathering new witnesses or hiring a notary. By using a personal property memorandum, you can avoid the inconvenience and expense associated with making formal changes to your will. Tangible property possessions tend to rapidly change over time, so frequent updates to estate planning documents involving these items may be necessary.
Our team at the Veterans Advocacy Law Group can answer your questions about personal property memorandums. If you are interested in incorporating this document into your estate plan, we can provide a template and assist you with its completion.
Worried About Your Estate Plan? Our Veterans Estate Planning Attorneys Can Help.
A strong estate plan is more than just preparing for asset distribution. The goal should be to protect yourself (should you become incapacitated) and your loved ones (when you are no longer able to provide for them). Fortunately, additional tools are available to assist with these objectives.
Our national veterans estate planning lawyers can help you execute powers of attorney authorizations that appoint a trusted agent to act on your behalf in the event of incapacity. The Department of Veterans Affairs also offers low-cost life insurance policies that can prove invaluable to Veterans and their families. We can help you explore these and other instruments that can augment your plan and provide practical and financial protection in a variety of scenarios.
The Veterans' Attorneys
Serving Veterans Nationwide
Excellent Results, 5-Star Reviews
Fighting With Compassion & Conviction
Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business