Estate planning protects loved ones

  • Published
  • By Capt. Rachel Ingram
  • 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Following the March increase in Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance benefits limits, the 445th Airlift Wing Staff Judge Advocate office encourages Airmen to verify their beneficiary information.

“One way we, as service members, can protect our loved ones is by keeping our affairs in order,” said Maj. Kevin G. Normile, 445th AW Deputy Staff Judge Ad­vocate.

Regularly reviewing and updating beneficiary information ensures life insurance proceeds and other assets are left in the care of the right per­son. SGLI beneficiaries may be updated online at the MilConnect website under the ‘Manage my SGLI’ tab.

“Do you want your spouse to be surprised because you unintentionally left a parent or former spouse as an SGLI beneficiary?” Normile asked. “If not, it is prob­ably better to take five minutes to change your benefi­ciary.”

The JA office provides an array of legal assistance at no cost to service members. These services include preparing and executing documents like family care plans, powers of attorney and wills.

While Airmen are not required to sign a will, Normile said it’s a good idea for every Airmen to have one in place. Airmen do not have to meet any special criteria to be eligible. The JA staff can help walk Air­men through the process of creating their first will or updating an existing will.

“If you are wondering if you have a will, you probably don’t,” he said. “It’s worth looking into.”

Normile added it is recommended to update estate plans upon mar­riage, divorce, the birth of a child or relocating to a new state of legal resi­dence, because regular updates help to reduce confusion for heirs.

Walk-in customer service is available at the JA of­fice during scarlet unit training assemblies from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and 9 to 11 a.m. on Sundays.

During the regular work week, service members should reach out to the 88th Air Base Wing JA at 937- 257-6142. The base JA provides legal assistance to service members, retirees and their families.