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Active Service Wills (Validity)

Volume 529: debated on Tuesday 1 June 1954

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asked the Attorney-General if he is aware that, as a result of legal action concerning a soldier's will, doubt had arisen about the validity of the active service provision for an unwitnessed testament; and if he will introduce legislation to give retrospective validity to such wills.

I am not aware of any recent case which has raised doubts about the validity of unwitnessed wills made by soldiers in actual military service and my noble Friend the Lord Chancellor is satisfied that it is unnecessary to introduce legislation on this subject.I have made inquiries about the case, referred to in correspondence in the Press, which I understand my hon. Friend has in mind, and I am informed that letters of administration with the will annexed were granted to the soldier's widow. The validity of the will was not disputed, hut a grant of probate could not issue as such because no executor was named in the will.