The foundation of a successful deployment may seem to be built on paper! It is important to review, update and organize a number of important documents before deployment. These documents include the following:
A will is a legal expression or declaration of an individual’s wishes upon his or her death. For couples with children it’s important to include who you’d want to care for your children should something happen to both you and your spouse. To ensure your estate is distributed the way you want, make sure you have a current will and your loved ones know its location. Your local Navy Legal Services Office will assist you in making a will at no cost.
Power of attorney
Powers of Attorney can be very useful when conducting personal business. They can also be very dangerous documents as they allow someone to act in your behalf. You may need different types of Powers of Attorney for different tasks. For example, you may need a special Power of Attorney to file your taxes or for you to buy or sell a big ticket item such as a vehicle or condo. There is a document called a “General Power of Attorney” that can be used in a variety of situations. It is important to know in advance what type of Power of Attorney will be accepted by an institution you want to do business with. Not all will accept a General Power of Attorney. Your local Navy Legal Services Office can discuss options and draw up a Power of Attorney at no charge.
Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
Active duty service members are eligible to be insured under SGLI up to a maximum of $400,000 in increments of $50,000. Before deployment verify who is designated as beneficiary and make changes as necessary. A will does not impact the beneficiary of life insurance. To make changes Election Form (VA Form SGLV-8286) must be completed. For more information on Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance visit the Department of Veterans Group Life Insurance information page.
Emergency Data Form
The Emergency Data Form is more commonly referred to as the “Page Two” of a Sailor’s Service Record. It lists who should be contacted if a service member becomes ill, is injured, killed or missing. Any time your family moves or contact information changes this form should be updated through the admin at the command or through your local Personnel Support Detachment (PSD).
Other Important Documents
If you don’t already have one it’s a good idea to invest in a small, fire proof safe or rent a safety deposit box to store your family’s important documents. Many of these documents are hard to replace. Even though you don’t need them often, when you do need them they are critical. Do you know where each of the following documents are located?
- Birth Certificates
- Marriage License
- Divorce Decrees
- Death Certificates
- Medical Records of each Family Member
- Dental Records of each Family Member
- Veterinarian Records for each pet
- Adoption Papers
- Citizenship/Naturalization Papers
- Insurance Policies (Life, Health, Home, Vehicle, Flood)
- Real Estate Documents (Lease, Deed, First and Second Mortgages)
- Car Title, Registration and Inspection
- Most Recent Leave and Earnings Statement (LES)
- Social Security Number of each Family Member
- Current Address and Phone Number of Immediate Family Members of both Spouses