Dependents are naturally worried about their financial position. All pay, service allowances and centrally recovered charges stop from the day following the date of death, but other benefits kick in. In the event of a missing person, full pay and allowances will continue to be paid until death is presumed to have occurred or been confirmed. There is information on pensions, compensation and benefits on the Ministry of Defence website if you click here. And there is information from the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency if you click here.
All service personnel are encouraged to make a Will, but this cannot be made mandatory. The subject of Wills can cause great heartache as young people, even when they have made a Will, do not always keep it up to date as their personal circumstances change. Young men and women who are not married might find that their personal relationships can change quite often. Whilst there is no requirement to store any Will with the MoD, individuals can make a simple Service Will. The decision to make a Will remains a matter of personal choice.
Where it is clear who the Next of Kin are, the Visiting Officer will, within a few days, bring a letter from the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Cell concerning grants, pension, compensation and gratuities that may be due to them, and they wil be informed by letter of their specific benefits as soon as is possible. Sometimes establishing NOK and dependent children can be difficult and therefore causes delays.
The lack of a recognised Will and the potential for dispute of the Service Will can cause rifts in families. Similarly when details have not been kept up to date, the beneficiary of the estate may not be the present partner. Where there is no Will, civil law takes precedence.
Please click here for further information on compensation and pensions.