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Military estate planning

It is especially important for service members to begin estate planning right away because of the potential dangers they may face while in the service. Estate plans help protect you and your family from any legal issues concerning you assets and last wishes.

Why do I need to start estate planning

It is important for all individuals, regardless of age or status, to understand the importance of estate planning. You may feel that you are too young to start planning or you may just assume your family members will automatically receive what you leave behind.

Without proper documentation, your family may have to deal with more legal issues than they may care for. In Oklahoma, without any legal documents stating how you want your estate to be divided, the court will decide for you.

Having legal documents in place can help your family avoid any legal or tax issues. Planning ahead can help ease any stress or burdens your family members may face after you pass on. It is also a good idea to speak with an estate-planning lawyer. They can help ensure that your family will be taken care of and that all your assets are addressed in your plan.

What service members should know

Be well prepared and leave time to draft these documents. Long before entering into a service position or before deployment, you should be thinking about these documents. They take time to address and write, especially depending on what assets you may have.

The military provides many benefits and support for service members. Make sure you are taking advantage of these services:

  • Estate planning
  • Life insurance
  • Survivor benefits
  • Family care plans

A lawyer can help you choose the best plan and make sure your family is taken care of after you pass on. This matter is never enjoyable to think about, but it is a necessary precaution to take in order to ensure your family's future.

What documents do I need to prepare

Some of the most important documents to consider are:

  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Power of attorney

Wills are one way to outline who will receive your assets. In your will you determine who gets your property and personal items. You will also determine a guardian for your children if they are under the age of 18. Wills can contain essentially, whatever you would like. This can include funeral plans or a plan for your celebration of life.

Trusts are another option to consider. Trusts allow you to be more specific with your last wishes and typically don't include child guardians or funeral arrangements. Your trustee, or receiver, is under legal obligation to abide by the parameters you set in your trust. For example, you can specify that your trustee must go to college in order to receive anything you include in their trust.

Lastly, a power of attorney is one of the most important documents. This document allows someone of your choosing to make medical or financial decisions for you, if you happen to become mentally or physically incapable of doing so.

Estate planning is vital to ensuring that your last wishes are carried out as you desire. An experienced estate-planning lawyer can answer and address any of your questions or concerns about the process. They will help you draft these documents and guide you through the entire process.

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