April 29, 2010
The following essay is based on my answers to questions from listeners to Wayne Glenn’s “Remember When” KTXR radio show.

Military Lawyers Need Local Lawyers, Too

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     Lawyers serving in the military have unique jobs. A military lawyer stationed at a military base in Missouri may be from California, or any other state. In meeting the needs of the service personnel at the lawyer’s base, she works primarily with military law, rather than the law of the particular state in which the base is located, or the state where she is licensed to practice law. Military law covers a broad spectrum of legal problems -- but from time to time it may be helpful to consult local lawyers on particular issues.

     One call I received from a military lawyer concerned estate planning. She had prepared a military Will for the service person, but was concerned about property he owned in a foreign country. “Can you write a Will in Missouri that disposes of property in Greece?” she asked. The lawyer’s practice in her home state did not involve estate planning – and she was uncertain about how the military law would implement the Will if something happened.

     A person can write a Will disposing of ALL of their property, no matter where it may be. However, if the property is located in another country – the law of that country – and any treaties there may or may not be with OUR country – will determine just how complicated it might be to implement the terms of the Will.

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