Nicole Dean has been helping personnel with their finances for nearly a decade and has first hand experience of military life, having been married to a service person for more than ten years. Here, she offers her views on the importance of having a Will suitable for your family circumstances…

I don’t need to tell you how difficult things can be when it comes to managing money and general personal admin. Being an unmarried couple or a single parent can make this even more tricky, or if you’re a blended family, it can add another layer of complexity.

When it comes to making sure your Will is right for you, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, do you need advice? Unless you have limited or no assets and no children, the answer to this is usually yes.

Although the military offers serving personnel a free basic Will, this is a do-it-yourself Will and doesn’t come with any advice; the onus is on the person completing it to do it correctly. Here are my top things to consider…

  • Who would I want to look after my children?
  • Who would be a good choice of executor? This is the person who does all paperwork and pays all debts from the estate.
  • Would I like reserve beneficiaries if my main ones weren’t here?
  • If children are under 18, who would I like to look after their inheritance until they are old enough?
  • Would my partner/spouse and I like to ensure our children’s inheritance is protected if either one of us remarried?
  • Is there anyone I don’t want to inherit?
  • Do I have specific items or monetary amounts I’d like to leave as gifts?

A professional Will writer would go through these things with you to ensure the people you love would get what you intended them to.

Additionally, a Lasting Power of Attorney can be very useful. This is a document that gives a nominated person the legal power to make decisions about your property and financial assets, or health and welfare, or both. This can be particularly important if the serving person goes away for long periods or is frequently uncontactable.

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