Naval Legal Service Office Hosts Will Workshop

Story Number: NNS090813-11Release Date: 8/13/2009 4:55:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Coleman Thompson, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Legal representatives from the Naval Legal Service Office (NLSO) based in Norfolk embarked USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) to assist Sailors with setting up a will and testament as well as other legal documents in preparation for their upcoming deployment Aug. 7.

The representatives are working with Sailors giving them guidance on the proper way to fill out the legal paperwork needed for wills.

"We know that the Sailors on board Truman are very busy. They're doing drills, taking classes, and sometimes it's just easier for us to come and see you as opposed to the Sailor trying to track us down in Norfolk," said Lt. j.g. Jamal Rhadbane, NLSO legal representative.

With deployment coming up, it's important for Sailors on board Truman to legally prepare themselves, and the most basic way to do this is with a will.

"Most people need wills," said Lt. Eric E. Wannamaker, a NLSO legal representative. "There really isn't a situation where a will couldn't help, even for a single Sailor, because without one the courts have to take over, and it can create a headache for the family."

A legal will is a declaration by which a person names one or more persons to manage his or her estate at death. But wills aren't the only service that is offered during the workshop; the representatives also offer assistance with creating living wills and powers of attorney. The legal representatives warn that Sailors need to be careful about what type of power of attorney they get, as well as any time their names are legally used.

While a general power of attorney gives the representative complete control of the person's identity and property, a special power of attorney gives the representative control over only certain aspects of a person's property, such as making car or house payments in the person's name.

Aside from helping Sailors with properly setting up their legal documents, the legal representatives were also given the chance to enjoy the Navy experience aboard a ship for the first time.

"We're really grateful for the opportunity to see what ship life is really like," said Wannamaker. "And it gives us a chance to let these Sailors know that the judge advocate generals are honestly there to look out for them and are available to help."

Upon completion of this underway, Sailors can get more information and assistance from the Norfolk NLSO, which can be reached at (757) 444-5053.

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