Skip to main content

Armed Forces: Deployment

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 5 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what guidance is given to members of the armed forces on (a) completion of a will prior to initial deployment and (b) the review of the will prior to each subsequent deployment; and what provision is made to ensure (i) the personal privacy of the individual making a will and (ii) the availability of an officer qualified to give advice. (232668)

Service personnel are reminded of the importance of making a will or reviewing it prior to each operational deployment. Service personnel may opt to use an MOD form or make private arrangements through a solicitor. Where an individual chooses to use the MOD form, they seal it, once completed and signed by a witness, in an official envelope that lists the service person’s basic details. The envelope is then stored securely at the Document Handling Centre until discharge or the submission of a revised will, when the sealed envelope is returned to the individual, or the death of the service person when the will is sent to the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre for forwarding to the executor. Although the services do not give advice on making a will, service personnel serving overseas can obtain guidance on what factors should be considered from service legal branches.