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The military life is a dangerous one, especially when you consider all of the turbulent matters that are going on around the world right now. For men and women who have signed up to protect our country, it is all too easy to forget to protect themselves.

One thing that all military members need to do is to ensure that they have estate planning documents ready. With the nature of military service, this is a good idea even if you don’t think that you will need to get everything set up right away. Ideally, you will review these documents prior to each deployment.

If you have minor children and aren’t in a relationship with their other parent, you may have a family care plan on file. This is a good start to what you need when you go on a deployment. However, you need to think about several important points. One of these is who will raise your children if something happens to you and your child’s other parent. This isn’t likely going to happen, but it is best to plan for it now.

Take the time to review all of the financial accounts you have, including your Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance policy. Make sure that the beneficiary is the person who you’d like to get the proceeds if you do pass away. This is especially important if you named your parents when you filled out the forms in boot camp but have since gotten married and want the money to go to your spouse.

You also need to make sure that you have your will, powers of attorney designations and other forms prepared. Estate planning is one of those things that can leave your family at risk if you continue putting it off too long.

Source: Military in Transition, “Why Estate Planning Matters to You in the Military (Even if You Think it Doesn’t),” Forrest Baumhover, accessed Sep. 21, 2017