By:Keri Smith

It’s never comfortable having reminders of what might happen during a deployment, especially right before he leaves. But the reality is, he’s a soldier and it’s his job. These are some important things you need to make sure you have ready for when he is gone:
Tag Renewal: Don’t forget to keep an eye on your automobile tags and when they expire. You will be responsible for making sure you get them renewed while your spouse is gone.

Tax Preparation: You can wait until your soldier is home to file your taxes, however it is pretty simple to do yourself using tax software. Gather all of your W-2’s and tax statements and use a program like the ones below. You are a fool if you go to H&R Block, because they mostly use standard deductions. These programs make it idiot proof and walk you through each step:

http://www.taxact.com or http://turbotax.intuit.com/

Get these for free at your local JAG/Legal Assistance office:

Wills and Medical Directives: This is especially important if you have children. You need to state your wishes for burial, cremation, services, beneficiaries and custody of your children. Also, you need to state any medical wishes you have, such as not being kept on a respirator for extended periods of time, etc…

Power of Attorney: In order for you to handle anything that your name is not on,( ie: Pay Bills in his name) you will need a General Power of Attorney. You also may need Special Power of Attorney for Housing, Finance and anything else the JAG office says. Having this is a privilege and the power to buy things in your husband’s name, so DON”T ABUSE IT!!! Deployment is a time you can get out of debt and save money, so don’t blow it by charging up his credit cards and causing yourselves more financial problems. If you are a soldier, make sure you implicitly trust your wife/mother/family member before giving them a POA. You are giving them the ability to access your bank accounts, credit and other assets.

Here are some links to a few deployment checklists to help you make sure you have covered all the bases:
http://www.usuhs.mil/ogc/deploych.pdf
http://ra.defense.gov/documents/toolkit/familyReadinessUSAADeployuide.pdf

Keri Smith is a writer, mother of two sons and the wife of an American Sniper. She enjoys writing her humorous blog, “The Glamorous Life of an Army Wife” to highlight her unique lifestyle and observations on friends, family and other funny stuff. She has a professional background in Human Resources and Recruitment, and frequently contributes as a writer on Divine Caroline and Ezine.

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17 Comments on Guest Post: Crappy Things You Need to do Before a Deployment

  1. I don’t know if many people know this but usually every year U.S.A.A. offers a discount on Turbo Tax if you go through their website. I haven’t seen the link for it up yet but I don’t think it shows up till around February.

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