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Estate Planning for Veterans: Benefits & Pensions

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If you or your spouse served in the United States Military, there are several pension benefits that you may be eligible for. It is important to be aware of what these benefits are so that you can take full advantage of them when they become necessary.
 
The first is called Veterans Pension. This benefit provides veterans and their families with supplemental income in order to assist them in meeting financial challenges. This benefit is tax-free, and is available to wartime veterans with a low income. In order to be eligible for this benefit, a veteran must have served a minimum of 90 days in active duty. At least 1 of those 90 days must have been during a wartime period. A veteran who served after September 7, 1980, must have served 24 months, with at least one day during a wartime period.
 
If your spouse or parent is a deceased veteran who served during a wartime period, you may be eligible for Survivors Pension. This benefit, also known as a Death Pension, is also tax-free. It is paid out to the un-remarried spouses and children of qualified, deceased veterans. The service requirements are the same as for the Veterans Pension. Additionally, the veteran must have been discharged from the military under other than dishonorable conditions. If you are applying for this benefit as a child of the veteran, you must be either under the age of 18, under the age of 23 and attending a VA-approved school, or have been disabled before you reached age 18.

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