Wills for Members of the Armed Forces

If you are a member of the Armed Forces, being prepared for what the future may hold by having a valid will in place is highly recommended. Our specialist solicitors are here to guide you through the will-writing process to ensure that your family would be cared for in the event of your death. 

We strongly believe in ensuring our clients are equipped with the best possible support, including making preparations that take into account the worst case scenario. Making a will forms part of this key protection, and we are here to provide you with practical legal advice to safeguard your family’s financial future. 

If you do not have a will, but die in the line of duty, you will not have a say over who receives your money, property or possessions if you die. This means you will not have the peace of mind that your loved ones are taken care of. 

If you’d like to make a new will or change an existing one, our Armed Forces solicitors can help you. Contact us by calling 0345 450 9547, or complete our online contact form and allow us to call you at a time that is suitable for you.

How JMW Can Help

It can be unsettling to think about what might happen in the event of your death, but making a will means that provisions would be made for your loved ones if the worst happens. Having a valid will in place allows you to plan for your family’s future, safe in the knowledge that they would be provided for. 

Our experienced will-writing team is partner-led and has many decades of experience in dealing with a range of different circumstances and situations. JMW will utilise this experience to give you exemplary advice, making sure that you have a will that is suited to your unique requirements, taking into account the different scenarios that you may need to plan for. 

Because we understand that dealing with the financial and administrative details of what happens after your death is tough, we will work with you to make sure that your affairs are handled with care, sensitivity and the utmost professionalism. 

We pride ourselves on our practical, no-nonsense approach and are committed to making sure that whatever your needs are, we’ve got them covered. 

FAQs About Wills for Members of the Armed Forces

Why do I need a will in the Armed Forces? 

A will outlines your wishes for what you’d like to happen to your possessions, your money and your property (known as your estate) when you die and makes sure that the people most important to you are taken care of. If you die without a valid will, the law dictates who benefits from your estate. This might mean that those closest to you won’t stand to inherit anything if you die without a will in place.

If you have children under 18 years old, you can specify who will look after your children in the case of your death. Without a will, you will have no say in this, and no say as to whether they inherit anything from you.

Without a will, common law partners and partners who haven’t registered a civil partnership cannot inherit from each other. If you are separated but not divorced, your estranged spouse will inherit your estate.

You can also appoint the executors and trustees that you’d prefer to oversee your estate. Again, if you don’t have a will, the law will dictate this.

Why do I need to update my will?

If you already have a will in place, we would recommend reviewing the document every two to three years. It is particularly common in the Armed Forces to make a will when you are quite young, and name one of your parents as the main beneficiary of the will. It is entirely likely that your personal circumstances will change after you make your initial will (e.g. you may meet someone who becomes your partner), and you should update your will to reflect those circumstances.

Ultimately, having an up-to-date will ensures that your wishes are expressed and will be met; your estate will be managed by the people you want it to be overseen by, go to the individuals you’d prefer it to be distributed to, in the way you’d like it to be distributed.

We’re happy to talk you through any questions you may have about the issues around having a valid will, and will help you understand what arrangements need to be in place for the people important to you to get what you’d like them to.

Are there any financial benefits to having a will? 

As well as making sure that your estate goes to the right people, there are some great financial benefits to having a valid will in place.

You can make sure that money you’ve received as the result of a personal injury claim, or an Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) claim is properly distributed in the event you haven’t spent this money, or are holding it in a trust. You can make a provision in your will to ring-fence this, or any other money, and address who should receive the money in the event of your death.

If you want to ensure that your children inherit from you, but you don’t think it’s appropriate for them to inherit at 18 years old, you can set up flexible provisions to make sure they get the money you want them to, at the time you feel it will best help them.

If your spouse receives means-tested state benefits, you can create a trust to make sure that their right to receive these benefits isn’t lost when you die. You can also ring-fence money for the benefit of your surviving spouse against care home fees.

We can also help you look at what inheritance tax may be payable on your estate and how we can put a plan in place to make sure that your spouse and children are in the best possible position to maximise their entitlement in line with existing inheritance tax rules.

What should I do if I have a will and need to change it? 

If you have an existing will, such as the simple military will made using MOD form 106, you are able to make changes to it any time you wish.

It is common that members of the Armed Forces make wills when they are young, often earlier than civilians. You may find that you want to make changes to your will as your personal circumstances change, for instance, you may meet someone and make them your partner, you may get married, or you may separate.

Our expert solicitors can review your will for you, and make sure that it accurately reflects where you are in your life now, as well as carry out any changes you may wish to make, such as who stands to benefit from your will, who should oversee your estate in the event of your death, and who should take care of your children.

If you have any questions about this tricky element of will writing, we are happy to assist by giving you the advice you need to make sure your will does what you want it to.

Talk to Us 

Our team of expert solicitors has your best interests at heart and we will talk you through what you’ll need to put the will in place that best serves you. We will walk you through every step and put your mind at ease. Call us on 0345 450 9547 or get in touch with us on the contact form and we will call you at a time convenient to you.

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Meet Corporal Andy Reid MBE: JMW's Armed Forces Ambassador