If you’re someone who just received an order that you are being deployed, then it’s a great time to make sure your affairs are in order. Here is a brief summary of what you should do before you leave.
Prepare a Family Care Plan (or Review an Existing One)
You may be required to complete a Family Care Plan. A Family Care plan is usually required for one of the following: a single parent, dual service member couples, individuals who are married with custody or joint custody whose non-custodial biological or adoptive parent is not the current spouse of the service member, or those who otherwise bear sole responsibility for the care of children under the age of 19 or for others unable to care for themselves in the absence of the service member, or those who are primarily responsible for a dependent family member.
What is a Family Care Plan? The plan typically consists of written instructions left for your loved ones on how to manage day-to-day activities and any necessary legal documents. The plan could detail who will care for your family members when you are unable to due to being away and that the specified caregiver has agreed to do so.
Create an Estate Plan (or Have an Existing One Reviewed):
To be sure that you retain some control over your life and ensure that your wishes are carried out, it is important that they are written down. You can accomplish this by either creating a will or a living trust. Both the will and the living trust will distribute your assets according to your wishes but the living trust will have the added benefit of allowing administration to take place without court involvement and can offer asset protection for the beneficiaires.
If you have a will or a living trust already, it is important to make sure that it still reflects your wishes. Life is constantly changing and your estate plan should change along with it. If, for example, you have gotten married or had children since the will or living trust was first prepared, it is important that the document be updated. Also, if you have gotten married or had a child since you first had the will prepared, you may
Review or complete beneficiary designations
As a service member, you may have access to life insurance policies or other survivor benefits. It is important that you review these policies to make sure that the recipient is who you would like to receive the benefits. As mentioned before, this is especially important if you have recently gotten married or had children. It’s not a bad idea to have a secondary or contingent beneficiary in place in case something was to happen to your primary beneficiary.
Assess Your Life Insurance Needs and the Needs of Your Family
When planning for the financial security of your family, it is important to assess the needs of your family. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance coverage is available in $50,000 increments up to the maximum of $400,000. This may be sufficient for your family or you may need more. Be sure to research your options and select which fits best for your family.
Remember: We are here to help!
You have made a heroic decision to serve your country and we are so thankful for your service. Please know that while you serve our country, we are here to serve you. If you have any questions about starting or reviewing your estate plans, please give us a call at (954) 999-9683.
The Legacy Law Firm – Where Your Legacy Lives On