Why Haven't You Protected Against Incapacitation?

Most people understand the benefits of traditional estate planning and yet many of them have not engaged in it at all. In fact, numerous studies indicate that far too many people don’t even have the most basic of estate plans in the form of a will. But another commonly neglected area of estate planning has to do with not thinking about what might happen to you while you are still alive.ThinkstockPhotos-842975626
Certainly, there a number of different risks and sudden incidents that could prompt you to consider the dangers of passing away without an estate plan but far too many people are actually at risk of suffering some type of incapacitating event during the course of their life that leaves their family members and even themselves unable to make informed decisions about medical care.
If you are suddenly incapacitated by a disability caused by something like a car accident, who would be appointed to make medical or financial decisions on your behalf? Do you have a comprehensive plan that looks at the different concerns that your family might be required to address in the immediate aftermath? Far too many families who are already coping with the broad range of changes caused by incapacitation are then asked to sort through a legal mess because someone did not engage in appropriate incapacitation planning.
Scheduling a consultation with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney can help you to articulate what you want to happen to your estate after you pass away as well as who will be appointed to make these critical decisions for your future if you suddenly become incapacitated.

Research shows PTSD has negative impact on family

Post-traumatic stress disorder can wreak havoc on every aspect of the lives of veterans.
According to “Partners of Veterans with PTSD: Research Findings,” an article the website of the Veterans Administration, this is especially true when it comes to family relationships. Alarmingly, these difficulties can, in turn, only make the PTSD worse.
“Research that has examined the effect of PTSD on intimate relationships reveals severe and pervasive negative effects on marital adjustment, general family functioning, and the mental health of partners,” the report states (http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/treatment/family/partners_of_vets_research_findings.asp). “These negative effects result in such problems as compromised parenting, family violence, divorce, sexual problems, aggression, and caregiver burden. “
Male veterans with PTSD are more likely to report marital or relationship problems, higher levels of parenting problems, and generally poorer family adjustment than veterans without PTSD.”
The report goes on to note that those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder are less expressive with their partners and less willing to disclose information about themselves and their feelings.

Deutsch: Innere Leere, Niedergeschlagenheit, G...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“Related to impaired relationship functioning, a high rate of separation and divorce exists in the veteran population. Approximately 38 percent of Vietnam veteran marriages failed within six months of the veteran’s return from Southeast Asia. The overall divorce rate among Vietnam veterans is significantly higher than for the general population, and rates of divorce are even higher for Veterans with PTSD. The National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study found that both male and female veterans without PTSD tended to have longer-lasting relationships with their partners than their counterparts with PTSD.”
The article goes on to suggest that partners of veterans suffering from PTSD should seek to gain as much understanding of the condition their loved on faces as possible.

Association Offers Advice on Knowledge all Veterans Should Have

The Military Officers of America Association, a 370,000 member strong organization that was founded in Los Angeles in 1929, proudly proclaims itself the “nation’s largest and most influential association of military officers.”

Patriotic Soldier Sitting On Wheel Chair Against American Flag
Patriotic Soldier Sitting On Wheel Chair Against American Flag
A recent posting on the MOAA website  offers an enlightening list of five things every veteran should know.
They are:

  1. What is the type and character of your separation or retirement?

This is vitally important because it will determine your eligibility for all benefits through the VA, Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay, Combat Related Special Compensation and Veterans Preference in hiring with federal and state agencies.

  1. What is your VA disability rating and what conditions you are service connected for?

If you have already filed a claim for disability compensation with the VA you need to pay attention to your combined disability rating and the conditions you are service connected for.

  1. Did you enroll in Survivor Benefit Plan and if so, for whom?

You do not need to worry about this if you separated. If you signed up, you and your spouse should know what base amount you set and how to find out if you forget (on your Retiree Account Statement).

  1. Which federal agencies pay you monthly and how much they pay you?

If you are receiving several government checks each month you need to know where the money is coming from. If we have another government shutdown or partial shutdown, you will need to know what that will do to your monthly income.

  1. What type or types of healthcare you are eligible for?

The items above will dictate what types of healthcare you are eligible for. Knowing what you are eligible is the first step when deciding which healthcare options make the most sense for your family. If you do not have a VA disability rating and your annual income is over the VA threshold, VA healthcare may be off the table for you.