Eligibility for Legal Assistance
The 31 FW Legal Office is here to assist you with various personal civil legal matters. Active duty military members, dependents, members entitled to retired or retainer pay and their dependents are among those are eligible for legal assistance. For further details on who is eligible please look to AFI 51-504, Legal Assistance Program.
Our primary goal and first priority is to ensure members and their families are prepared for deployment. That means we work with you to make sure you have everything in order. This includes a will, an advance medical directive (living will or medical power of attorney), powers of attorneys and arrangements to support your family.
Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney (POA) is a written instrument that allows you (the "principal") to authorize your agent (your "attorney-in-fact") to conduct certain transactions on your behalf. It is one of the strongest legal documents that you can give to another person. Every act performed by your agent under the authority of a POA is legally binding upon you. Since a POA is such a powerful document, you should only give it to a trustworthy person, and only when absolutely necessary.
There are two types of POA - a general POA and a special (or limited) POA.
GENERAL POWERS OF ATTORNEY
A general POA gives your agent the authority to do most things you could do yourself, such as write checks and pay bills, borrow money, and sign contracts in your name. Not all institutions accept a general power of attorney; some require a POA from them specifically. You should check with the institution before getting a POA.
SPECIAL POWERS OF ATTORNEY
A special, or limited, POA authorizes your agent to do only a specific act, such as sell your car, ship your household goods, or cash your paycheck. It restricts the agent's action to a particular purpose which you have chosen. It is best to give a special power of attorney when possible.
Other Legal Assistance
We also offer other forms of legal assistance, including domestic relations assistance (divorce, child support, and custody), advice regarding the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, personal property claims, landlord/tenant issues, and tax questions.