This list is a compilation of several deployment checklists we found on the Web. Hopefully, it will help make your predeployment planning a little easier.
* If vehicle financed, know the name and address of the loan company.
* Where is title?
* Locate the vehicle’s registration.
* Know renewal date for license plate and how to renew.
* Know how to renew inspection sticker.
* Make sure you have insurance; some companies will let you take your deployed spouse off the insurance while they are deployed, to reduce the bill.
* Is vehicle in good operating condition; know where to go for repairs.
* Make a duplicate of all keys.
* Know how to make emergency repairs — replacing a dead battery or changing a tire.
* Organize and create a payment plan — know all payments that need to be made and on what date.
* Make sure you will have money available to you during your spouse’s absence.
* Get address of your bank.
* Get your account numbers and types of accounts.
* Know the location of your bank books.
* Do you have a safety deposit box? Where is the key?
* Know the location of all your credit cards; keep their numbers and the company’s contact information in a separate, safe location.
* Obtain power of attorney for accounts that are only in your service member’s name; tell creditors about the deployment — they may reduce interest rates.
If your unit does not give you paperwork regarding this issue, have your service member put, in writing, his wishes — whether they want to be buried or cremated and where they want to be buried.
* Decide how to pay taxes if he will be deployed during tax time. The IRS requires a power of attorney, obtained only from them, which allows you to file your spouse’s taxes; visit www.irs.gov.
* Keep copies of all your state and federal tax returns.
* Know where your insurance documents are.
* Go over home insurance papers, decide if coverage is sufficient. Some homeowners insurance offers an additional option, that costs more, but that will pay off the mortgage if one spouse dies.
* If you are not on the deed to your home, you may want to go through the trouble of having yourself added. Even if the service member has a will, if the spouse is not on the deed, you may have to go through probate if and when you try to sell the home, even years later.
* Verify DEERS enrollment to make sure everyone can receive medical care.
* Check expiration on family member cards; obtain paperwork to renew cards while spouse is deployed.
* Know where your medical and dental records are kept; always keep copies of your records at your home as well as with the doctor.
* Know how to access medical care, especially important for new spouses new to the Tricare system or for Reserve and National Guard spouses who may not be close to medical facilities on post.
* Keep a copy of every family members birth certificate.
* Keep a copy of your marriage certificate.
* Keep a copy of all adoption papers.
* Know the location of the above papers.
* Know the location of your social security card.
Power of Attorney
* Obtain a General Durable Power of Attorney, which authorizes a spouse to act on behalf of the other in financial affairs, can be revoked at any time and usually takes effect immediately. Know where this document is kept; you will probably need to fax it to financial institutions.
* You can also get a Health Care Power of Attorney, used when a spouse becomes incapacitated and is unable to make medical decisions on his own.
* A Limited Power of Attorney grants a limited amount of authority, i.e. it may allow spouse to make withdrawals from a bank account to pay bills, but nothing else.
* A General Will and Testament allows the service member to divvy up his assets. While some service members will not make a will because they feel the laws of the state they live in will provide for their spouse, this is not always true. Verify with JAG that the will is valid.
* Obtain a Living Will, the individual states their wishes regarding future health care in case they become incapacitated. This includes how to handle such issues as having a feeding tube inserted or removed or at what points machinery should or shouldn’t be used to keep them alive.
* Discuss with your spouse how much SGLI (available in increments of $10,000 up to a maximum of $400,000) is suitable for your family if you were to loose his income due to death. Discuss beneficiaries.
* Make an appointment to see a trusted financial adviser who will advise you if the SGLI is sufficient for your family. Many military members purchase life insurance above the SGLI amount from other companies.
* Note, if a child is left as a beneficiary for the SGLI, the child will not receive the money until they turn 18. The surviving spouse will have to go to court to petition for the funds to be released earlier.
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