Madison Alabama American Legion Post 229

     The American Legion Post 229. Madison, Alabama 

  "My Planning Guide” for Military Retirees/Veterans                    

Compiled by: Post 229's Veteran Service Officer:   Andy Haq   Completed Version 03/02/2022


Section One (1a)     (To be completed before the death of Military Retiree/Veteran)

Veterans Information – Military :  

Full Name (Incl Middle):______________________________

Retired/Veterans Rank: ______________

Social Security Number:_______________________       Branch of service ___________________ 

Old/New Mil Service Number: _____________________   

Date Entered Military: __________________ 

Date Separated/Retired:____________________

Military Retired Pay: Yes/No                                   

Date of Birth: _______________________

Place of Birth: _____________________________ 

Home Phone (if available):                                                                    


DD 214 Readily available (Active Duty Discharge) __________________________________________________                                                                             

Eligible for Survivors Benefit Plan: Yes/No                                                                                         

Do you want Military Honor Guard requested: Yes/No                                                                           

Do you want American Legion or other “Special Groups/Organizations”: __________________  

Do you want to be buried in Uniform, If available? : Yes/No                                             

Section One (1b) Veteran Information (Continued)

Name-Phone number for Assistance: __________________________________________ (Could be Minister or family or Military Casualty Assistance or Funeral Home, if pre-arranged) Executor of the Estate/Will: __________________________________________________

Organ Donor: Yes/No                                                                                                                      

Is there a Will: Yes/No  Living Will: Yes/No   Power of Attorney: Yes/No                                                                                                              

Receiving Social Security: Yes/No                                                                                                                                                                                              

 VA disability: Yes/No.    VA Insurance. Insurance contracted through the VA Insurance Center, (disabled retirees)   Retired from Federal Service. Contact the Office of Personnel Management at 1-888-767-6738.                                                                                                                                

Long Term Care Policy: ____________________________________                                                                                   

Check: Married, Widowed, Divorced or Never Married:                                                                    

Current Spouse: ______________________________________   

(Maiden Name):____________________                                                                         

Civilian Pension: Yes/No

Cell Phone#: _________________________                                                              

Place of Marriage: _______________________________                                                           

Spouse SSN: _____________________________________                                                                              

Divorced Spouse: _________________________________

Date of Divorce: ___________________________________________                                                    

Mothers Name: ____________________________________________       

Fathers Name: ____________________________________________                                                  

Children: (Names/Birthdate/Address)

(1) ___________________________________________                                            

(2) __________________________________________                                                   

(3) __________________________________________                                           

(4) __________________________________________                                      

Physician: __________________________________                                                                            

Minister: ____________________________________                                                            

Financial Advisor: ___________________________                                                                         

Lawyer: ___________________________________________________

Section One (1c) Funeral Arrangements: Has the funeral been “Pre-arranged”, if so Name, Phone Number, Policy #:

Do “You” want Burial or Cremation: _____________________________________________                                   

Do you want a Memorial Service: Yes/No Place of Funeral Service: _____________________                        

Place of Visitation: ____________________________________________________________                                          

Place of Burial: _________________________________________

Plot Purchased? Yes/No  Burial Plot Policy/receipt ________________________________         

Do you want burial in a National Cemetery: Yes/No : ___________________    

Special Persons Notifications: ______________________________________ (Suggest a listing or “roll call” or “call chain” of who calls who) Employers

Name/Phone/Supervisor: ______________________________________________

Power of Attorney (Not Valid after death) ___________________________________________                                                                        

Living Will (if you are incapacitated) _____________

Current Will (with Addendum for bequests)              

Insurance policies (to pay expenses) ______________________________________________                                                                                         

Is a Guardian Appointed for Minors/Disabled ______________________________________                                                                    

Obit/Eulogy _______________ Special Readings _______________________________________                                                                                       

List of organizations/groups to notify _______________________________________________                                                                                     

Special Traditions to Follow __________________________________________________________                                                   

Veterans Administration 1-800-827-1000 (there may be a burial benefit, Headstone, Certificates) __________________________________________________________________                                                                                                                         

Employer’s Human Resource Office (they will also be able to help on life insurance, cancelation of medical insurance, and/or payment of any unpaid salaries/benefits)

Section Two (2)  (Upon Death of veteran)

___ Date and place of death

____Circumstances of death (natural causes, accident, military service injury/illness, etc.)

____Name, address and phone number of the funeral home that is handling the details

____Location, date and time of the memorial service at which the military honors are needed (Note: even if you don’t have these complete specific details yet, go ahead and make the call to give the initial information above, then call back to fill in these details as soon as they are known)

Notify Casualty Assistance Office at Fort Rucker, AL 334-271-7246 verbally takes the initial requests for, and schedules (assigns) all military funeral honors details to be performed by actual military personnel (active duty or national guard/reserve members) for deceased active, retiree and veterans of Army/Navy/Marine Corp/Air Force and Seabees in most of the Alabama area, and Florida panhandle. Funeral homes must contact the Casualty Office at (334) 255-9005, (334) 255-9081 or (800) 661-1407. (Alabama counties near the Ft. Benning, Georgia area are served by the Ft. Benning Casualty Office, 706-545-4026/2710 or 706-545-4606/4116 (website: .) A copy of the DD Form 214 is required. Resources are allocated in the order in which requests are received; so calling immediately gives the best chance for obtaining an honor guard of military personnel to conduct funeral honors. Most funeral directors request a local veteran organization – such as the American Legion or VFW – to provide the funeral honors unless specifically requested otherwise.

Notify Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), which is the military pay agency. Make an initial verbal report of the retiree’s death immediately to DFAS at 1-888-332-7411, or 1-800-321-1080 for retiree/annuitant pay (website ). This allows DFAS to stop military retirement pay (which otherwise would later have to be withdrawn/re-collected), and also to quickly send out the packet for the survivor to request the start of their survivor benefit payments (usually about 7-10 days). Within a few weeks DFAS will send the survivor a packet containing these items to fill out and return

  1. _____ DD Form 2656-7, Verification For Survivor Annuity. If retiree was enrolled in the Survivors Benefit Program (SBP), the monthly annuity is payable to the authorized dependent for life.
  2. _____ SF (Standard Form) 1174, Claim for Unpaid Compensation. Designated beneficiary is authorized payment of deceased person’s retired pay and any other allowances or awards from the 1st of the month through the day of death. Also, any and all other payments that the retiree was entitled to and had applied for, but had not yet received at time of death – to include any applications that were currently in progress (if those are ultimately approved, back-payments to the date of when the retiree first applied will also be made).
  3. _____FMS Form 2231, FastStart Direct Deposit to (your) bank account
  4. _____Form W-4 or W4-P, IRS Tax Withholding Certificate for Pension or Annuity Payments. Mail those completed forms & a copy of death certificate back to DFAS at: Defense Finance and Accounting Service, U.S. Military Annuitant Pay, 8899 E. 56th St., Indianapolis, IN 46249-1300. 
  5. The Funeral Director will order Certified Death Certificates. Order 6 to 10 copies for financial and insurance companies. Many organizations require “certified copies” (with raised seal), but some will accept scanned images.

Section Three (3) Follow-on Actions within a few weeks: Consider both ID Theft and Social Media. Notifications can be made to Credit Reporting agencies such as TransUnion or Experian for a death to prevent ID theft. Social Media Sites you should close accounts and reopen a new if desired or as a minimum change the passwords as soon as possible. Notify home insurance company. Notify auto insurance company Notify your banking and your mortgage holder institutions. They will require a copy of the death certificate to make changes to joint accounts. Notify creditors including credit card issuers. Decide whether a lawyer will be required to assist with probate or estate handling. If retired military, On-Post Legal Office may be able to help or refer. If you have home security system, notify provider. Change the passwords for major accounts like Amazon, Apple, etc., even if they are in your name alone. If you have had a joint checking account, consider whether you want to add someone you trust onto the account in case of emergency. Make this decision carefully. Death Certificate will be needed.

Here are some common numbers: Army - Ft Rucker Casualty Assistance (334) 255-9081 (24 hour automated line), or Benefits (334) 255-9005 Redstone Casualty Assistance (256) 876-4252, (256) 824-2718 Navy 1-800-368-3202 Air Force 1-800-433-0048 Marine Corps 1-800-847-1597 Coast Guard 1-800-772-8724 Redstone ID card Section 256-842-2413 or 256-313-0018 ____ Army Emergency Relief 256-876-5397 (For emergency funds for immediate needs of survivors) ____ Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS) 800-321-1080 ____ DEERS/ID Card/Medical Update 800-538-9552 Standard Form 180 (Request Pertaining to Military Records) This form is used to request information from records of military personnel, i.e., DD Form 214 or equivalent, Statement of Service, Discharge Certificate, etc.  For instructions to complete Request for Military Records SF 180 (request form) visit or Office of Personnel Management (For federal civilian employees) 1-888-767-6738 ____ Social Security 1-800-772-1213 (there may be a $255 benefit) ____ VA Forms. . ). The Department of Veterans Affairs is available to answer questions about Veterans Affairs benefits at their nationwide toll-free telephone number, (1-800-827-1000), there may be a burial benefit, Headstone, certificates____ Employer’s Human Resource Office (they will also be able to help on life insurance, cancelation of medical insurance, and/or payment of any unpaid salaries/benefits)_____ Internal Revenue Service:  Redstone Legal Office offers year-round tax assistance and advice.  Contact them at 256-876-9005 on tax questions.  IRS Live Telephone Assistance, when calling, you may ask questions to help you prepare your tax return, or ask about a notice you have received.  

“Locate” the following documents: Military Retirement Orders ____ , Retired Pay Statements ____ VA Disability Paperwork ____ Marriage Certificates ____ Safe Deposit Box ____ Divorce Decrees/Pre-Nups ____ Citizenship/Passports Papers ____ Real Estate Deeds ____ Birth/Adoption Certificates ____ Bank Acct Statements ____ Tax Returns ____ Vehicle Titles & Registration ____ Insurance Policies ____ Investment Statements ____ On Line/Computer passwords (phone, Banking, Facebook, etc) “Pay” the following (or be prepared to Pay): ____ Funeral Expenses (Average cost $3500-$12,000) ____ Income taxes (regular filing time frame) ____ Burial Plot/Urn/Vault ____ Current or Urgent Bills ____ Monument/Marker for the gravesite ____ Clergy ____ Organist ____ Florist ____ Transportation _____ Clothing ___ Ambulance