Thinking about legal issues can be scary, but military members have lots of legal support from their chain of command or branch specific legal services. Before you need the support of others, you should take actions yourself to make sure all your affairs are in order.
Here are a few things you can do yourself to save major headaches later on, or if things ever go wrong.
- Check the pages of your service record to make sure the information is correct. An incorrect address or phone number can delay quick response in an emergency.
- Make sure that the correct beneficiary is listed on your Serviceman Group Life Insurance (SGLI).
- Visit the base legal office to have wills drawn up for you and your spouse. This may seem like a particularly difficult thing to do, but you will want to take control instead of letting the courts decide for you.
- Decide whether or not you need a power of attorney. This is a legal designation by an individual for a person to execute certain duties on behalf of the service member in his/her absence.
- Some parents like to have a special medical power of attorney drafted for a neighbor, grandparents and/or child care providers. For example, these individuals would be authorized to take action in the event of an emergency should the parents be unavailable.
- Before deployment, make sure that you and your spouse both know the location of important documents such as wills, marriage and birth certificates, and insurance policies.
- Verify DEERS enrollment so family members can receive needed medical care in the absence of the service member. Call 800-538-9552 to confirm enrollment.
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