Chicagoland Elder Law, Estate Planning

A Warning on VA Benefits | Chicagoland Estate Planning & Eldercare Attorney-CPA Anthony B. Ferraro

Because it is illegal to charge veterans any fees for filing VA Benefit claims, there are few attorneys out there who know anything about these kinds of benefits.  Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) are very knowledgeable on this subject and are eager to help, but they are all too often hard-pressed to have the resources to handle so many veterans.  Therefore, it can unfortunately be difficult for a veteran and/or his or her surviving spouse to get the sufficient help that they need to file a claim. The only other common source for information regarding VA Benefits are annuity salespeople, who sometimes offer to consult with veterans and/or their families regarding VA Benefits for free.  This offer usually consists of a consultation for the veteran to meet the asset and income limitations of the VA Benefit by buying an annuity from that salesperson, and the veteran giving away his or her assets to his or her children. In reality though, annuity salespeople are often being paid by an annuity company to sell a financial product to the veteran.  Sometimes an annuity can turn out to be a great thing for a veteran and his or her family, but other times an annuity can end up being a very poor financial decision.  In order to avoid making a poor financial decision, your first step in the VA Benefit process should be to get advice from a VA accredited attorney BEFORE transferring any assets and/or purchasing an annuity. Remember, the VA Benefit process does not have to be stressful if you follow the correct steps. -Anthony B. Ferraro