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Legal -- Question & Answer Listing  
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Question / Answer

Question:
Can I accept on-post housing if it becomes available while my sponsor is deployed?

Answer:
If you are waiting for on-post housing and it becomes available while your spouse is deployed you should a Power of Attorney (POA) to sign for and receive your household goods shipment. However, exceptions can be made in certain circumstances.

Question:
Can I move out of on-post housing while my spouse is deployed?

Answer:
If it becomes necessary to voluntarily terminate your occupancy of on post housing while your spouse is away, you will need a Power of Attorney (POA) to effect shipment of household goods and to clear quarters.

Question:
How can I obtain military privileges (ID cards, access to services, etc.) for my legally dependent parents, adopted children, foster children, etc.?

Answer:
In general, you must have the appropriate legal documents to certify dependency such as adoption papers for children, or other documents stating that you have legal guardianship of your parents, foster children, etc. The Army Legal assistance office can provide you with specific information on this subject.

Question:
How do I go about collecting the child support my ex-spouse was ordered by the court to pay?

Answer:
In order to collect child support that your ex-spouse/absent parent was ordered by court to provide, you should contact either an attorney or your local child support enforcement agency to learn more about your options. You might be able to get a court- or administratively-ordered deduction of a specified amount from your ex-spouse's income for payment of child support.

Question:
If I am relocating do I need to update my will?

Answer:
Whenever you have a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move or have substantial changes in your family (e.g., get married, have a child, etc.) it is important to review your will to ensure that it still represents your wishes upon your demise. Additionally, it is important to make sure your will be upheld in the new location to which you are relocating.

Question:
What is a legal guardian?

Answer:
Legal guardianship refers to a decision by a judge that places a person legally responsible for the food, health care, housing, and other necessities of another person. This other person may be a child or an adult who is deemed fully or partially incapable of caring for his or her own care.

Question:
What is a Power of Attorney (POA)?

Answer:
A Power of Attorney (POA) is an instrument that is gives legal authority to another person (called an Agent or Attorney-in-Fact) to make property, financial and other legal decisions for the person who signs (executes) a POA (also called the Principal). POAs can give an Agent broad legal authority, or very limited authority. For example, a General Power of Attorney is very broad and is usually used to allow your Agent to handle all your affairs during a period of time when you are unable to do so such as when you are out of the country (such as deployed overseas) or physically/mentally unable to handle your affairs. A General POA is frequently included as part of an estate plan. A more restrictive POA might be drawn up to allow another person to sell your vehicle or to act on your behalf for emergency medical care for your children while you are deployed. Care should be taken to ensure that the individual you select can be trusted with the responsibility (and authority) granted by a POA. Your military community Staff Judge Advocate (SJA) Office can assist you (and your authorized family members) with POAs.

Question:
What kind of Powers of Attorney (POA) are available?

Answer:
"There are three basic types of Powers of Attorney (POAs): Nondurable, Durable, and a Springing Power of Attorney, each of which can be drawn up to give an Agent very broad, or very limited (specific) legal authority. A Nondurable POA is often used for a specific transaction, such as the sale of the Principal’s Privately Owned Vehicle (POV), the closing on the sale of residence, or other type of financial matter on behalf of the Principal while he/she is traveling outside of the country. A Nondurable POA takes effect immediately and remains in effect until it is revoked by the Principal, or until the Principal becomes mentally incompetent or dies. A Durable POA authorizes the Agent to act for the Principal even after the Principal is not mentally competent or physically able to make decisions. It may be used immediately, and is effective until it is revoked by the Principal, or until the Principal's death. A Springing POA becomes effective at a future time, based on the happenings of a specific event chosen by the Power of Attorney, such as the illness or disability of the Principal. This type of POA remains in effect until the Principal's death, or until revoked by a court. "

Question:
What rules are there about changing one's name?

Answer:
In most states, common law legal practices allow you to legally change your name by usage only. However, it is recommended that you obtain an official court document to get government agencies and many private organizations such as banks to accept your new name. Also, you will need a legal document in order to change certain types of identification such as your Social Security card, passport, and military identification card.

Question:
What should I do if I suspect that I am a victim of identity theft?

Answer:
If you suspect you've become a victim of identity theft or fraud, act immediately to minimize damage to your finances, as well as your reputation. Report the situation to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by calling their toll-free number at 1-877-438-4338 pr TDD at 202-326-2502 or online at: http://www.ftc.gov/. You should also call the fraud units of the three principal credit reporting companies: Equifax at 800-525-6285, Experian (formerly TRW) at 888-397-3742, and Trans Union at 800-680-7289. Additionally, contact all creditors and/or financial institutions with whom your name or identifying data have been fraudulently used. You may need to cancel accounts, stop-payment on any outstanding checks that may not have cleared, and change your Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card, account, and Personal Identification Number (PIN).
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