1. Notify the Department of Defense:
This is the first step in ensuring that your loved one's military retirement benefits are properly taken care of after their death. You should notify the Department of Defense right away so that they can begin processing their benefits and entitlements.
2. Complete Required Forms:
To receive any military retirement benefits or entitlements, you need to fill out several forms provided by the DoD. These forms include a DD Form 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) and an SF 180 (Request About Military Records).
3. Gather Supporting Documentation:
As well as completing any required forms, it is important to gather all necessary supporting documents such as their Social Security Card, military ID card, and DD Form 1172 (Application for Uniformed Services Identification Card).
4. Notify Other Financial Institutions:
It is important to notify any other financial institutions that your loved one was affiliated with such as banks, credit unions, or investment companies. This helps to ensure their assets are properly transferred to their beneficiaries after they pass away.
5. Finalize Wills & Trusts:
If your loved one had wills or trusts in place before death it is important to finalize these documents to make sure all of their wishes are respected and carried out after they pass away.
6. Update Beneficiary Designations:
Any beneficiary designations need to be updated or re-designated for their assets to pass on to the appropriate beneficiaries.
7. File for VA Benefits:
If your loved one was a veteran, it is important to file for any Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits they may be entitled to receive such as disability compensation or survivor benefits.
8. Obtain Final Disposition Receipts:
After your loved one's final wishes have been carried out it is important to obtain a copy of the final disposition receipts to properly document all assets that were transferred.