Why You Need a Will if you are serving in the Armed Forces
It’s not a pleasant thing to think about, but even with the best training, equipment and colleagues, there is a risk that you may be called upon to make the greatest sacrifice your country can ask of you.
If that happened, you would like to know that your wishes would be respected and carried out after you had gone.
It is possible to make a simple Military Will using MOD Form 106. After completion the form is sent for storage in Glasgow, to be retrieved in the event that you are a casualty.
However, Form 106 is not adequate in every situation, and even on the Form 106 itself it states that there are certain cases where you should seek professional legal advice, these include:
- If you own or have purchased property with someone who is not your husband, wife or civil partner (i.e. if you are co-habiting);
- If there may be competing claims on your estate, such as from a previous relationship;
- If you want to leave money in trust for your children;
- If the beneficiary is on state benefits;
- If you want to provide for someone who is unable to care for themselves;
- If you own a share of a business;
- If your estate is high value or complex.
If you want to make sure that your wishes will be carried out, it is essential to give proper consideration to your Will. If you don’t there is a risk that those you care about may not receive what you wanted them to receive.
Did you know that your cohabitee is not your next of kin and as such will not receive your estate unless you make a Will benefiting him or her?
Even if you are married or in a civil partnership this does not guarantee that your spouse or civil partner will receive your whole estate. Under the intestacy rules (the legislation that decides how your estate is distributed if you do not make a Will) if you leave a spouse or civil partner and children your spouse or civil partner receives your personal property and possessions and the first £250,000 of your estate and half the balance, half the balance going to your children or being held in trust until they attain the age of 18.
If you leave no spouse or children, your nearest living next of kin will ultimately inherit – someone who you may not know or like!
We have testamentary freedom (we can make a Will) in this country and it is so important to use it and not let the government decide where your hard earned money, assets and possessions go on your death.
If you still need convincing, look here for examples of what can go wrong.
How to Obtain your Military Will – Discount for HM Forces
Here at Armed Forces Lawyers Bird & Co we are delighted to be able to offer Members of HM Forces a 10% discount on Wills, making the cost of a single Will £135 + VAT and simple Mirror Wills £202.50 + VAT.
The process is very easy and can all be done by email, telephone and letter although we would love to meet you face to face.
Initially we send you out a Will Questionnaire to get you thinking about all the things you might like to include in your Will (this saves a lot of time at our initial meeting). We then ask you to make an appointment to come in and see us if at all possible to discuss the terms of your Will and provide advice.
Once we have received your will instructions in full we prepare a draft Will with a covering letter of explanation for you to read through at your leisure.
When you are happy with your Will as drawn we can either see you again to sign your Will ( we will provide the two witnesses) or send the will out to you with instructions for signing.
We can store your will FREE of charge and we can also offer registration of your will with Certainty (the only National Database of Wills) at an extra cost of £25 + VAT to ensure that your Will is located and your wishes carried out.
So what is stopping you? Call Jennifer now on 01636 616353 or email Janet, our experienced Wills & Probate Solicitor at firstname.lastname@example.org to have your Will questionnaire sent out to you.
We can help you through this difficult process by obtaining the Grant of Probate on your behalf. We will also undertake the collecting and distributing of assets.
How much does this service cost?
2.5% of the gross value of the estate plus VAT, i.e. £2,500 plus VAT for every £100,000 of value with a minimum fee of £1,500 plus VAT
This includes: obtaining the grant, collecting assets and distributing them.
Where VAT is payable it is payable at the prevailing rate (as at 1 October 2023 this is 20%).
Breakdown of costs:
Minimum legal fees £1,500.00
VAT on legal fees £300.00
- Probate court fee of £155.00 plus 50 pence per sealed copy.
- £7.00 Swearing of the oath (per executor).
- Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2.00 per beneficiary).
- £179 Post in The London Gazette – helps protect against unexepected claims.
- £150 (approximately) Post in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
As part of our fee we will:
- Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter
- Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
- Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
- Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
- Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
- Draft a legal oath for you to swear
- Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
- Obtain the Probate
- Collect and distribute all assets in the estate
On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6-12 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 6-26 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 6-40 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 40-52 weeks.