For service members and their partners, spouses, and loved ones: use the following checklists before deployment to ensure you have completed paperwork needed during or after you/your service member deploys. There are separate checklists for legal matters, family matters, personal property, financial matters, as well as a family care plan:
Legal Matters Checklist
- Create a Power of Attorney (POA). Contact your base legal office for information on types of POAs and advice on which one you should use.
- Create and/or update your will.
- Consider establishing a joint bank account with your spouse so that bills can be easily paid.
- Review your current life insurance coverage.
- Confirm your Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI) beneficiaries are correct and update if necessary.
- If you are currently renting your home and need to cancel your lease, notify your property management company of your deployment. Understand your rights under the Service Members Civil Relief Act, here: www.jag.navy.mil.
Legal Documents Keep copies of the following documents (if applicable)together in a secure place:
- Wills (for both service member and spouse)
- Power of Attorney (POA)
- Insurance policies (including life, health, home, and vehicle)
- Tax records
- Court orders (e.g., child support and custody documents or divorce paperwork)
- Social Security cards
- Birth certificates
- Marriage license
- Visas and citizenship/naturalization paperwork
- Vehicle titles, registrations, and inspections
- Copy of your most recent LES Family Matters Checklist
- Update your Emergency Data Form with your family's most current contact information.
- Ensure ID cards are current and will not expire during deployment.
- Confirm all family members have all necessary TRICARE and Metlife (dental) information.
- Look into international calling plans.
- Set up a Skype account at www.skype.com.
- Create a list of important phone numbers and email addresses for both the service member and family. Personal Property Checklist (if applicable)
- Notify your homeowners insurance if your home will be vacant during deployment.
- Notify your renters insurance if you are storing your belongings in a storage facility.
- Make sure you have the appropriate household goods/personal property insurance.
- Know the location of your car title.
- Have an up-to-date vehicle registration and proof of registration.
- Know when your vehicle will need its next inspection.
- Make sure the vehicle is in good working order.
- If you own firearms, make sure they are registered with the appropriate authority and that your spouse/family member is trained to operate them.
Financial Matters Checklist
- Notify your credit card companies that you will be deployed.
- Make sure your family will have money available to them on a continuous basis.
- If you have a safe deposit box, make sure a family member has a key.
- Create a record of accounts with account information and bill due dates—store in a secure place.
- Set up automatipayments for bills (if desired) and make sure the credit cards you are using will not expire during deployment.
- Create a list of any computer or banking passwords—store in a secure place.
- Make sure you know where to go if you need financial assistance (e.g., Family Service Center, Command Ombudsman, Personnel Support Detachment (PSD), or Navy Marine Corps Relief Society).
- Understand the status of your finances (including debts, income, etc.).
Family Care Plan Checklist Use the following checklist to develop your family care plan if you are a single parent or in the event that both parents or caregivers for minor children will deploy:
- Assign a guardian for your family in a special Power of Attorney (POA) and confirm the guardian understands his or her responsibilities.
- Obtain ID and commissary cards. To ensure military health coverage for you and your children, register all dependent family members in Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS), and check to make sure all ID cards have not expired.
- Make sure Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI) is correct.
- Arrange for housing, food, transportation, and emergency needs.
- Inform caretakers of your financial matters.
- Arrange for guardian to have access to necessary funds.
- Arrange for child care, education, and medical care.
- Arrange necessary travel and escort to transfer family members to the new guardian.
- Discuss these plans with your children.
This excerpt is provided courtesy of the acclaimed free digital resource "Everyone Serves." Download your free copy with additional media content today at everyoneservesbook.com.