Legal Documents You Need

Last week, popular TV host and financial educator Suze Orman came to our small base to speak.  During her presentation, she asked everyone who had a current will, revocable living trust, advance directive and durable power of attorney for health care to stand up.  It was maybe 10 people.  Now, one can debate the necessity of a revocable living trust back and forth, but the other two documents are absolutely essential.

Most of you are familiar with wills, the legal documents that designate where your money and possessions will go if you die.  Even if you have little, a will helps make things easier for your survivors.

A will is also the place where you direct guardianship if you have children, which is so important not only if something were to happen, but also for the peace of mind that it gives while you are alive.  My children have asked since a young age, “What would happen to me if something happens to Daddy and you?”   I love being able to state that there is a clear plan, and they seem to appreciate the knowledge as well.

The other important document is a Advance Directive and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care.  This is the place where you spell out your thoughts about medical care, such as whether you would like to be kept on life support for an extended period of time, and also where you designate someone to make those decisions for you.

Your base legal office can whip these documents up quickly.  My husband called legal yesterday and we have an appointment for next Wednesday.  They will usually give you a worksheet to prepare before coming to your appointment.  Think carefully about your wants and needs, and the secondary effects if you were to die in quick succession.

This is so important, just do it!

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.