Documents are a tedious but necessary part of military life, especially during deployments and trainings.

Obtaining these necessary documents can be incredibly stressful. With Soldiers spending extra time in the field before taking off, Families can feel a bit overwhelmed at times by everything they have to do to prepare for the deployment.

However, if you compile the necessary items before they are needed, the lead-up to a deployment and longer trainings becomes a bit easier to handle.

Power of Attorney

Powers of Attorney are the number one document to have on hand during a deployment. They allow the holder of the POA to make decisions on behalf of the Soldier.

For example, if the deployed Soldier’s vehicle needed an updated registration, the POA holder would be able to update it for the Soldier.

At Fort Bragg, you can make an appointment with the Legal Assistance/Judge Advocate General office on the first floor of the Soldier Support Center, Wing D.

Appointments are available beginning Monday at 9 a.m. The office suggests to walk in to make appointments, but you can also call 396-6113/0396 after 9 a.m.

Powers of Attorney are pretty straight forward. The general POA from the JAG office is usually sufficient in every case, but speaking with a legal professional regarding individual cases is recommended.

POAs are usually valid for a specified time. If no time is specified, they are valid for two years. Make sure to update your POA every time you buy a new car, home or property.

Wills

Wills are legal documents detailing final wishes in case of death. Updating wills regularly is an important task for military Families.

Although it is a morbid task, it’s important to have a will. If the Soldier and spouse have children, wills for both parents will help ensure the children will be taken care for.

Financial items can be added to wills, and disbursement of property among relatives can also be included in this document.

The JAG office can help with wills.

Miscellaneous

Have a copy or an original of all birth certificates and marriage licenses. Have the deeds and titles to cars, houses and other property handy as well.

Any medical records and immunization records should be easily accessed. All tax information should be kept close at hand. Keeping all of these documents in one location helps speed up the process if you find yourself needing them.

Write down all passwords for relevant accounts. If your Family pays bills online, make sure the appropriate Family member has access to those passwords so bills can be paid.

Keep this in a hard copy form along with the POA, wills and other documents.

Visit the Legal Assistance/JAG Office for any questions regarding legal documents you may have.

While compiling all of this information can be frustrating and overwhelming, keep in mind that the more organized your information is, the easier the process will become.

You can find deployment document checklists online to help organize the process.

(If you have any questions you’d like answered, please email me at AHansen@theparaglide.com.)