Making a Will
Have you Made a Will?
Why making a Will is so important
It is most important to make a Will; failing to do so may mean that your money and possessions are not allocated as you would have wished.
Whilst a spouse, parents or child can automatically benefit as the Next of Kin (NOK), if an individual dies intestate (without a Will), it is risky to assume a person will benefit from the estate just because they were living together, or in a relationship. If a Service person wishes a partner to benefit from their estate, they must make provision for them in their Will.
Wills may not be valid for evermore
Whilst a Will is revoked on marriage in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, this is not the case in Scotland. Also a Will is not revoked on divorce or by separation. However, making a new Will automatically revokes any earlier document, provided it is correctly signed and witnessed. As with the choice of Emergency Contact, Wills should be reviewed on a regular basis, particularly if there are any changes in marital status or relationships.
An out-of-date Will can cause as much distress as the absence of a Will. For instance, an out-of-date, or absence of a Will could mean that: a new partner will not benefit from the estate; a parent who walked out on the family shortly after the Service person was born, could claim half the value of an estate left to the parent who raised them; or an estranged spouse, who the individual was divorcing, could inherit everything.
If you have already taken the first step and created a Will, do ensure that you keep it up-to-date as important events in your life occur. Whilst Wills can be challenged, and claims may be made against an estate, this can be an expensive, time consuming and stressful process that may not achieve the desired result.
The easy way for Service Personnel
Service personnel can complete a simple Will form (MoD F106), available from their Unit, and store it free of charge at the MoD Document Handling Centre in Glasgow. Alternatively, individuals may wish to make a Will and store it at home, or with a Solicitor.
Good guides to will-making can be found on the Government website and in the RAF Community Support financial pages. Members of the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) can take advantage of a new initiative between RAFA and Bond Dickinson (a long-established firm of solicitors) which offers a Will Writing Service; for details and rates call RAFA on 0116 268 8766.
Every November, Will Aid works with solicitors all over the UK to run National Make a Will month. To find out more Click here
Where to keep it
Wherever the Will is stored, individuals should inform their close family they have made a Will and record its location on their JPA record at work. Alternatively there are Will registers that provides a precautionary step, through electronic registration, to ensure that a Will is not lost and offers a solution to misplaced Wills, confusion caused by multiple Wills and the diifficulty in locating Wills. To view The Certainty Will Register website Click here
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