Getting Financially and Legally Prepared for Deployment
If deployment is on the horizon, you need to prepare for any possible life scenario. Part of this preparation is making sure your financial and legal matters are in order.
Three Important Steps
Here are three actions you’ll want to take in this area.
- Assign Someone To Manage Your Finances. You’ll want to select someone you trust completely. This person could be your spouse, a parent, another family member or someone else. Whoever it is, you’ll want to make sure that person is capable of managing your family finances accurately and responsibly. Once you’ve chosen someone, familiarize this individual with all aspects of your financial situation.
- Update Your Will. Your will is an important legal document that sets forth how your finances and affairs should be handled in the event of your death. In your will, you need to specify the following:
- An executor and successor to handle your affairs when it’s time to probate your will.
- A guardian for your minor children.
- Who receives your property when you die.
- Review Beneficiary Designations and Asset Titles. Beneficiary designations on your accounts and property serve a very important role in your overall estate plan. Since they will supersede what you specify in your will, they need to be reviewed as well. Prior to deployment, make sure beneficiary designations on life insurance policies, annuity contracts, IRAs and employer retirement plans all reflect your current wishes. Also, be sure the titling on your accounts and assets match your wishes too. In some cases it can make sense to add Transfer on Death (TOD) designations or re-title assets to Joint Owner With Rights of Survivorship (JTWROS).
These are big decisions you’ll want to get right so seek professional advice. You may be able to update all estate planning documents through the installation Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) office as long as your situation is not complicated due to higher net worth or special family situations.
In short, getting your financial and legal matters in order today can help avoid a whole lot of problems later.