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From Chuck Weber, your Veteran Service Officer...
Veteran-Retiree Survivor Checklist

This checklist is designed to provide veterans and retirees and their loved ones with some help in preparing for the future. The following information is not all-inclusive and should be used with other estate planning tools to lessen trauma to your loved ones.  Add or delete items as appropriate to your situation.



1. Create a military file.

__ Retirement orders

__ DD 214

__ Separation papers

__ Medical records


2. Create a military retired/veteran pay file.

__ Claim number of any pending VA claims

__ Annual VA disability/pension compensation statement

__ Address of the VA office being used

__ List of current deductions from benefits

__ Name, relationship, and address of beneficiary of unpaid retired pay/veteran pay at      

     the time of death

__ Address and phone number for DFAS:  8899 East 56th St. Indianapolis, IN 46249

     Tel: (888) 332-7411


3. Create an annuities file, to include:

__ Information about the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) Additional information regarding

     SBP annuity claims can be obtained from the DFAS-Cleveland Center office at


__ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)

__ Retired Serviceman's Family Protection Plan (RSFPP)

__ Civil Service annuity


4. Create a personal document file.

__ Birth Certificate

__ Marriage Records

__ Divorce decree

__ Adoptions and naturalization papers


5. Create an income tax file. 

__ Copies of state and federal income tax returns


6. Create a property tax file.

__ Copies of tax bills

__ Deeds and any other related information.


7. Create an insurance policy file.

__ Life Insurance

__ Property, accident, liability insurance

__ Hospitalization/Medical Insurance



8. Maintain a listing of banking and credit information, in a secure location.

__ Bank account numbers

__ Location of all deposit boxes

__ Savings bond information

__ Stocks, bonds and any securities owned

__ Credit/debit card account numbers and mailing addresses


9.  Maintain a membership listing of all associations and organizations.

__ Organization names and phone numbers

__ Membership fee information

__ Many of these have insurance programs


10. Maintain a list of all friends, business associates, and attorneys 

__ Include names, addresses and phone numbers


11. Hold discussions with your next of kin about your wishes for burial and funeral services.  At a minimum the discussion should include cemetery location and type of burial (ground, cremation or burial at sea).  This knowledge may assist your next of kin in carrying out all of your desires.


12.  You could also pre-arrange your funeral services via your local funeral home. Many states will allow you to pre-pay for services.  Use a qualified Funeral Director.


13. Investigate the decisions that you and your family have agreed upon. Many states have specific laws and guidelines regulating cremation and burials at sea. Some states require a letter of authority signed by the deceased in order to authorize a cremation. Know the laws in your specific area and how they may affect your decisions. Information regarding Burials at Sea can be obtained by phoning Navy Mortuary Affairs at (866) 787-0081.


14. Once your decisions have been made and you are comfortable with them, have a will drawn up outlining specifics.


15. Ensure that your will and all other sensitive documents are maintained in a secure location known by your loved ones.





Organizations to be notified in the event of a retiree death:


1.  Defense Finance and Accounting Service, London, KY (if appl.) Tel:  (888) 332-7411

2. Social Security Administration (for death benefits)  Tel:  (800) 772-1213

3.  Department of Veterans Affairs (if applicable) Tel:  (800) 827-1000

4.  Office of Personnel Management (OPM) (US civil service) Tel:  (724) 794-8690

5. Any fraternal group that you have membership with: e.g., TAL, DAV, AMVETS, FRA,   


6.  Any previous employers that provide pension or benefits.



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