For American military service members, spending time with family and friends before being deployed is a top priority. However, planning for deployment should include much more than going-away parties.
An estate planning attorney in Houston Texas can assist with a wide range of needs for members of all military branches.
Legal Documents, Updates, and Notifications
There are several items you should have prepared or updated before every deployment, including:
- Powers of Attorney: Naming a power of attorney will allow a trusted individual to handle business and personal needs while you are away. These may include paying bills, filing tax returns, caring for minor children, and other tasks that you will be unable to personally handle.
- Living Will: With this document, you can address medical steps you want to be taken — or steps you do not want to be taken — if you are incapacitated and unable to clarify these decisions when necessary.
- Will: It can be unsettling to prepare for the worst-case scenario, but whether you are a service member or not, every adult should have a will. This document names beneficiaries of your estate, name trustees to manage your estate, provide instructions on handling medical situations on your behalf, and can also name a guardian for your minor children. If you already have a will, ensure that it is up-to-date.
- Insurance: If you have a home, life, auto, medical, and any other type of insurance, it’s important to contact your agent to discuss the best coverages for the time of your deployment. For instance, if your car will be stored, you may get a rate reduction for the period you are gone.
- Checking, savings, and retirement accounts: For any type of account that holds money, whether just an everyday checking account or a retirement account such as an IRA or 401(k), make sure you have a beneficiary named.
Additional financial considerations for deployment should include taking advantage of the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act. Under this law, you may qualify for mortgage rate reductions during deployment, protection from eviction, delay of civil court actions, and other protections.
If you’re getting ready for deployment, contact Houston estate planning lawyer Keith Morris, for assistance and guidance.