You may be one of the many Colorado residents who proudly serve in the United States military. Whether you knew from a young age that you wanted to join the armed forces or whether it was an ambition that grew out of necessity, you have gained experience, knowledge and relationships during your time in the service.
Because you value your relationships both in and outside your military unit, you know that there are important steps you need to take to ensure the protection of your loved ones in the event of your passing. In particular, you want to create an estate plan so that your spouse, children or other close relatives do not have an unnecessarily difficult time settling your final affairs.
Estate planning and the military
Though any adult in any profession could benefit from having an estate plan, you may feel a greater sense of urgency to have a plan due to the nature of your job and the risks you face. You may also have aspects of your estate that would not apply to civilians, such as survivors’ benefits for your family or a military pension. As a result, it is wise to carefully assess your personal affairs when creating a plan.
Still, some general information that could help you get the ball rolling on your estate plan includes:
- Going over the ownership information for your property and determining whether your assets could transition smoothly into your spouse’s ownership if desired
- Naming beneficiaries to your payable-on-death accounts, like your pension, retirement funds, savings and bank accounts, and life insurance policy
- Having a running inventory of your assets that helps you keep up with assets acquired and relinquished over the years so that your family doesn’t have to find an item you sold or gave away years ago
- Taking out liability insurance that could help protect your estate assets in the event of an accident or other issue that could lead to claims against your estate
- Leaving instructions regarding who gets specific assets, especially if you anticipate family members fighting over one asset in particular or if they have contentious relationships in general
Though no one wants to die and leave their families too soon, the chance always exists, especially for those in the military. You may have come to terms with this possibility long ago, but having an estate plan in place may bring you even more peace of mind as you know that your family will have formal documents explaining your end-of-life wishes.