Unit HomePermanent Personnel/TADResourcesLegal Assistance Office
Marine Corps Recruit Depot

 

Marine Corps Recruit Depot

Western Recruiting Region

San Diego, California
Legal Assistance Office

3700 Chosin Ave, Bldg 12, San Diego, CA 92140-5197

Legal Assistance Main Number: (619) 524-4111

Tax Assistance / VITA Main Number: (619) 524-8643

Entrance at the north of the building, closest to the Recreation Center


Mission: 
To serve active-duty and retired service members and their dependents by providing professional and zealous representation with regard to their personal legal affairs.

Legal Assistance Office Hours

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Sat/Sun

Walk-ins

-

0800 – 1000

-

0800 – 1000

Closed

Closed

Notary Services

0730 – 1130

1300 – 1600

1000 – 1130

1300 - 1600

0730 – 1130

1300 – 1600

1000 – 1130

1300 - 1600

Closed

Closed

Powers of Attorney

0730 – 1130

1300 – 1600

1000 – 1130

1300 - 1600

0730 – 1130

1300 – 1600

1000 – 1130

1300 - 1600

Closed

Closed

Wills*

By Appointment

By Appointment

By Appointment

By Appointment

Closed

Closed

* To obtain a Will, you must complete and submit a Will worksheet at least two weeks prior to your appointment

Tax Assistance / VITA Office Hours (open annually from 31 Jan – 15 April)

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Sat/Sun

Walk-ins

0800 - 1800

0800 - 1800

0800 - 1800

0800 - 1800

0800 – 1300

Closed

For appointments or more information, please call (619) 524-8643

VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE (“VITA”)

Tax Center Mission

Where customer service meets a quality return. Our mission is to efficiently prepare tax returns in a professional and flexible environment for warriors and their families.

Services 

The specially-trained Marines at the MCRD San Diego Tax Center offer state and federal tax return filing services free of charge to all retired and active duty personnel and their dependents. We can file taxes electronically or produce the necessary documents in hardcopy for taxpayers to send in by mail, depending on the nature of your return. The tax center personnel are trained and experienced in both federal and state tax regulations.

Necessary Documents

What you must bring to the Tax Center:

·         Your Military/Retiree/Dependent ID

·         Your Social Security card (or copy)

·         Date of Birth and Social Security card (or copy) of any dependent (e.g., spouse, children)

·         If you are married and filing jointly with your spouse, you must bring a power of attorney authorizing you to file on your spouse's behalf (unless your spouse is currently in a combat zone)

·         Social Security number or Employer Identification Number of any day care provider, the provider's address, and the total amount paid to the provider

·         Last year’s tax return (only needed if you submitted an itemized return)

          Any and all of the following current tax year’s tax forms issued to you, and if filing jointly, to your spouse, including:

·        W-2 (wages received)

·        1099-INT (interest received)

·        1099-MISC (miscellaneous income received, e.g., self-employment, rental property), with list of expenses, if applicable

·        1099-DIV (dividends and profits from stock and mutual funds)
         
1099-B: (proceeds from sale or transfer of stock)

         1099-R: (pension, annuity, IRA-related funds)

 To have your refund directly deposited or your amount owed automatically withdrawn from your bank account, you must also have:

·         Your bank name and routing number
          
Your bank account number (The easiest method is to bring a check or deposit slip.)

 Tax Center Intake Sheet

Completion of the below intake sheet will assist the tax center personnel in preparing your tax return and expedite your appointment.

·         IRS Interview & Quality Review Sheet (Form 13614-C (Rev. 10-2016)
 

Note: There are some returns that will be out of the scope of the MCRD San Diego Tax Center (i.e. some business tax, etc.). If that is the case with your tax return we will advise you to seek professional help such as a paid tax preparer.

Legal Assistance Office

Services

·         Family Law

·         Estate Planning

·         Immigration

·         Powers of Attorney

·         Notary Services

·         Military Rights and Benefits

·         Consumer Law

·         Landlord-Tenant

·         Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

·         Mediation
 

FAMILY LAW

·         Child support

·        
Spousal support

·        
Divorce

·        
Paternity

·        
Guardianship

·        
Adoption

·        
Name change


New clients requiring assistance with the matters listed above must first meet with an attorney. Please bring a copy of all relevant documents, including any court orders or other court paperwork.  Our focus is on California law. Limited assistance and/or attorney referrals may be provided for matters involving other jurisdictions.

Family Law and Dissolution of Marriage Page 


The Legal Assistance Office can assist with uncontested divorces, where both parties agree to the process and outcome.  The Legal Assistance Office cannot assist with contested divorces where the parties disagree.



ESTATE PLANNING

In addition to probate assistance, the following legal documents may be prepared by the Legal Assistance Office for eligible military members and dependents, as further explained below:

·         Will

·         Living Will

·         Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care

·         Springing Durable General Power of Attorney  

Note: Not everyone needs a will. For example, if you have a joint bank account with your spouse, limited assets, and no children, you may not need a will.  Additionally, a will is not required to transmit your SGLI benefits.

 

Will

A Will is a formal legal document in which you explain how you want to transfer your estate (your money, possessions, real estate) after you die. If you have a minor child, your Will can also designate a guardian for such child, if the child's other parent is deceased at the time of your death. Upon your death, a person you designate in your Will (your "executor" or "personal representative") distributes your estate and carries out the instructions stated in your Will.

Depending upon the value of your estate and other factors, the distribution of your estate may require your executor to hire an attorney to distribute your estate at a special court proceeding known as “probate.”

Note: Probate can be costly and time consuming, but may be avoided if you set up a living trust. A living trust is a document which can allow your estate to pass to your beneficiaries while avoiding probate, and estate tax (if applicable).  While we do not prepare living trusts, we can help you determine whether you could benefit from one, and provide you the names of several California attorneys who specialize in living trusts.

Living Will

Not to be confused with a living trust, a Living Will is sometimes referred to as a "medical directive", "advance health care directive", or a "directive to physicians".   A Living Will is a document in which you tell your loved ones and physicians that you would like to be removed from life support in the event that you are unable to make decisions for yourself because you become terminally ill, are in a persistent vegetative state, or are otherwise unconscious, so long as it is unreasonable to believe that you will recover.

Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care

A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is a document in which you designate an agent or agents to make medical-related decisions for you in the event that you are incapacitated or otherwise too sick to make such decisions for yourself.  This type of Power of Attorney is called "durable", because unlike a traditional Power of Attorney, your agent(s) can still make medical decisions for you, though you are incapacitated.  You may limit the power granted, but generally the person(s) you authorize as your agent(s) may make a wide range of medical decisions on your behalf, including the termination of life support.

Springing Durable General Power of Attorney

A Springing Durable General Power of Attorney is a document in which you designate an agent or agents to make all non-medical decisions for you in the event that you are incapacitated or otherwise too sick to make such decisions for yourself (e.g., dispose of your property, pay your bills, or file your income tax return).  This type of Power of Attorney is called "springing" because it "springs" to life only in the event of your incapacity.  Furthermore, it is "durable" because unlike a traditional Power of Attorney, your agent(s) can still make decisions for you though you are incapacitated.  As this is a General Power of Attorney, you may not limit the power granted.  Because of the broad powers conferred by a General Power of Attorney, they are only recommended in situations in which you cannot make decisions for yourself.


IMMIGRATION

Citizenship

Active duty service members seeking to begin the process of acquiring U.S. citizenship may pick up a package from the Legal Assistance Office during normal working hours.  Please complete and return the package so it can be reviewed by trained personnel and forwarded to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

After the package is mailed to USCIS, you can call the USCIS toll-free military help line at 1-877-CIS-4MIL (1-877-247-4645) to find out the status of your application or to update your address.  This number is exclusively for members of the military and their families.  USCIS customer service specialists are available to answer calls Monday through Friday from 0830 to 1630, excluding federal holidays.  After-hours callers will receive an email address that they can use to contact USCIS for assistance.

Immigration

The Legal Assistance Office can provide or assist with the following services:

·         Obtaining a green card for an immediate member of your family (e.g., parent, spouse, child)

·         Removing the conditions on a green card or extending a green card for yourself or an immediate family member

·         Immigration implications and duties involved in marring a foreigner

·         Regularization of the status of an immediate family member illegally present in the U.S.

Immigration Reference Links:

·         USCIS Military Home Page

·         U.S. Citizenship Resource Center (education tools for citizenship preparation)


POWERS OF ATTORNEY

A Power of Attorney ("POA") authorizes someone to do certain things on your behalf as your “agent” for a certain period of time.  The Legal Assistance Office provides three types of Powers of Attorney:

·         General Power of Attorney, which grants another person authority to manage all business affairs on your behalf, except changing life insurance beneficiaries

·         Special Power of Attorney, which grants another person authority to manage a specific power or powers that you have assigned

·         Power of Attorney for the Care of Children, which grants your assignee the general authority to perform all parental acts, including consent to emergency or routine medical treatment and enroll and/or pick up your children from daycare or school 

Note: You are strongly recommended to contact any entity or individual with whom your agent will be dealing (e.g., IRS; your bank: USAA; Navy Federal, etc.) to determine whether a specific POA format is required or preferred.  Some banks have their own POA forms that must be completed for someone to conduct banking transactions on your behalf.  If you fail to do this, the entity or individual may refuse to recognize the POA you have prepared.  The Legal Assistance Office can review and notarize other’s POA forms if you bring them to the office.



NOTARY SERVICES

Notarizations

A notarization is performed by a “Notary.”  A Notary is a person authorized by State or Federal Law to certify that the person whose signature appears on a document did in fact sign such document.  In order for us to notarize the signature on a document, the person who signed the document must come to our office, acknowledge that he or she signed the document, and provide a valid military, retiree, or dependent identification card.  Additionally, if the document requires that an oath be taken, the notary will administer the oath.

Certified True Copies

Copies of certain documents may be certified as accurate (or "true") by a Notary. In order to obtain a certified true copy of a document, you must bring the original document to the Legal Assistance Office.  Please note that certain regulations prohibit us from certifying copies of public, court, or registered documents (e.g., court records, birth certificates, marriage certificates).  Certified copies of such documents may be obtained from the entity which issued the original document.  If you are unsure whether we can certify a copy of your document, please call or visit our office.

Note: By notarizing your signature on a document or certifying a copy of such document as true, the notary is not certifying that the document's content is true, that a translation contained in the document is accurate, or that the document will accomplish any specific goal.  If you have questions about the legal implications of any document, you should consult an attorney.  Consultations with Legal Assistance Attorneys are available by appointment or on a limited walk-in basis.

MILITARY RIGHTS AND BENEFITS

Assistance is provided for various military rights and benefits issues, including rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA – formerly known as the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act), and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).

Please be aware that the Legal Assistance Office cannot assist you with:

·         Claims against the Federal or State Government, including TRICARE

·         Official investigations  or administrative complaints involving the Department of Defense, including fitness report rebuttals and petitions to the Board of Correction of Naval Records

Military Rights and Benefits Reference Links:

                ·         Department of Defense SCRA Website

·         Department of Justice SCRA and USERRA Website

·         Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) full text

·         Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) full text

·         Department of Labor – Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS)

 

CONSUMER LAW

Assistance with a variety of consumer law issues, including contracts, debtor-creditor matters, and automobile purchases and repairs. Assistance is provided by appointment.  Please visit the law center to schedule an appointment. Monday to Friday from 0730-1130 and 1300-1630.
Please be sure to bring along a copy of any relevant documents you may have, including the contract, warranties, and any correspondence between you and the other party.

Consumer Law Reference Links:

·         Federal Trade Commission ID Theft Website

·         California Department of Consumer Affairs

·         California Lemon Law (Rights of Auto Purchasers)

LANDLORD-TENANT

Assistance with landlord / tenant issues is provided by appointment during regular business hours.  Please bring a copy of all relevant paperwork, including the rental agreement and any correspondence between you and the landlord. 

Landlord-Tenant Law Reference Links:

·         California Guide to Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities (Rev. July 2012)

·         Department of Defense SCRA Website

·         Summary of Updated Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Protections


VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE (“VITA”)

VITA Mission

To assist you in preparation and completion of your federal and state income tax returns. We can file taxes electronically or by producing the necessary documents in hardcopy which you would need to mail in, depending on the nature of your return. Our personnel are trained and experienced in both federal and state tax regulations and are knowledgeable of all the forms and legal requirements.

Services

The specially-trained Marines at the MCRD San Diego Tax Center will offer state and federal tax return filing services free of charge to all retired and active duty personnel and their dependents.

What you must bring to the Tax Center:

·         Your Military/Retiree/Dependent ID

·         Your Social Security card

·         Date of Birth and Social Security card of any dependent (e.g., spouse, children)

·         Social Security number or Employer Identification Number of any day care provider, the provider's address, and the total amount paid to the provider

·         If you are married and filing jointly with your spouse (recommended), you must bring a power of attorney authorizing you to file on your spouse's behalf

·         Last year’s tax return (not mandatory unless you submitted an itemized return)

·         Any and all of the following current tax year’s tax forms issued to you, and if filing jointly, to your spouse, including:

·         W-2 (wages received)

·         1099-INT (interest received)

·         1099-MISC (miscellaneous income received, e.g., self-employment, rental property), with list of expenses, if applicable

·         1099-DIV (dividends and profits from stock and mutual funds)

·         1099-B: (proceeds from sale or transfer of stock)

1099-R: (pension, annuity, IRA-related funds)

To have your refund directly deposited or your amount owed automatically withdrawn from your bank account, you must also have:

·         Your bank name and routing number

·         Your bank account number (The easiest method is to bring a check or deposit slip.)

Tax Center Intake Sheet

Completion of the below intake sheet will assist the VITA personnel in preparing your tax return and expedite your appointment.

·         IRS Interview & Quality Review Sheet (Form 13614-C (Rev. 10-2013)

For Married Taxpayers

If filing jointly with your spouse, he/she need not be present, but you must bring a Power of Attorney mentioned above (either one prepared by this office or an appropriate Special Power of Attorney for tax purposes).  Also, if you are filing separate from your spouse, you must have your spouse's Social Security card, and know whether she/he has already filed.

Note: There are some returns that will be out of the scope of the MCRD San Diego Tax Center (i.e. some business tax, etc.). If that is the case with your tax return we will advise you to seek professional help such as a paid tax preparer.