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Estate Planning and Veterans: Veteran Burial Entitlements Are Among The Most Infrequently Used Veteran’s Benefits

estate planning and veterans - veteran burial entitlements are among the most infrequently used benefits

When it comes to estate planning and veterans, those who have served our country are entitled to many Veteran’s benefits and they deserve every single one of them.

However, one of the least used is the Veteran Burial Entitlement.

I’m not sure if that is because the veterans and/or their spouses are not aware of this benefit. But the fact remains it is one of the least utilized benefit of all veteran’s benefits. In fact, in 2020 it was discovered that 58 percent of veterans did not receive any burial benefit. And all veterans, except those with dishonorable discharges are eligible. They are entitled to free burial in a national VA cemetery or a private one of their choosing. And, in most cases their spouses are eligible for burial next to the veteran at little or no cost.

When I work with veterans and/or their spouses to establish an estate and asset protection plan for the veteran, I always make sure they are aware of and take advantage of this cost saving benefit.

For certain veteran’s benefits, such as burial in a VA national cemetery, the paperwork can be done ahead of time for a pre-determination of eligibility, so that everything runs smoothly without delay upon the Veteran’s passing.

When it comes to estate planning and veterans, these are the benefits all eligible veterans are entitled to:

  • VA burial allowance for burial and funeral costs
  • VA plot or interment allowance for the cost of the plot (gravesite) or interment
  • VA transportation reimbursement for the cost of transporting the Veteran’s remains to the final resting place

The time limit for filing for non-service-connected burial benefits is within 2 years after the Veteran’s burial or cremation. However, there is no time limit to file for a service-connected burial, plot, or interment allowance.

I hope more Veterans will take advantage of this entitlement. If you are a Veteran or are the spouse of a Veteran give us a call and let us help you get all the benefits you so deserve.


Looking to find an experienced estate lawyer in the Georgia area who is skilled in asset protection and estate plan preparation? Shannon Pawley is an attorney in Georgia with expertise in estate planning and asset protection. Shannon can provide assistance with creating an estate plan to include making a will and how to establish a trust properly. If you have questions about asset protection or questions about making an estate plan, reach out to Shannon and she will be glad to help answer all the estate planning questions you might have!

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