Keep Your Records Safe

It is very important to maintain and keep track of essential documentation.  It should be kept in a safe and easily accessible.  Also make sure the information on the documentation is current.  One document that should be reviewed and updated annually is your designation of beneficiary, in most cases, in the form of a will. 

This will ensure that your intended recipient actually receives what you would like them to have.  Be sure it is revised in cases of death of a beneficiary or birth of a child, marriage or divorce.  Make sure that loved ones know the location of vital records that they might possibly need in the event of your incapacitation or death.    If these documents are stored on a computer make sure they have the information needed to access the accounts such as login and password information.  It is already a difficult time but having to deal with searching for needed information in order to see your wishes carried out as you wanted can add a great amount of additional stress.  

Be specific about what you want.  Provide details of who you would like to receive certain items, money, insurance funds, etc.  Inform loved ones of life-sustaining measures you would like them to take or funeral and burial preferences.  Doing this will take some of the stress off of the loved ones because they will be comforted in knowing that your wishes are being carried out as you intended.  The following are some of the vital records that you and your spouse should gather and secure and make easily accessible in the event of your death:

  • Wills
  • Power of Attorney for both physical items and money as well as health care
  • Living wills or medical directives
  • Safe deposit box information
  • Retired pay statement
  • DD-214
  • VA disability rating notification
  • Social security information
  • Marriage certificates
  • Death certificates
  • Adoption records
  • Death certificates
  • Passports
  • Bank information such as account location

Be sure that these documents are kept in a safe, waterproof, fireproof location.  If you are or become a member of the Navy Mutual Aid Association, you have the benefit of using a secure vault to store you valuable documentation.  These documents will be available to you at all times when requested.  Those servicemembers living close to Arlington, VA are able to bring your items you would like stored to the office in person.  If, however, you are located elsewhere you can send the materials by a method of your choosing and when you are ready to receive your documents they will FedEx them to you at no additional charge.