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Lost Wills of Fallen Soldiers

Mistakes are a fact of life. The CFO of a company I worked for once said in an update to the Finance Division: “Our payroll errors were only 0.5% last year…Not bad. Unless of course you’re that 0.5%. Then it’s bad…Very bad indeed!”

The U.K.’s Ministry of Defence was in recently in the spotlight for some bureaucratic mistakes that resulted in the loss of Wills of soldiers killed in Afghanistan [1].

The Ministry is investigating the loss of four wills of Royal Marines but there is suspicion that the total number of wills lost across all services may be higher. In fact since 2005, there have been 15 complaints or queries of missing wills.

The Impact To The Survivors

The cost to the survivors of the lost wills is tragic. According to the Daily Mail [2], the fiancée of one lost soldier may lose her home because the will leaving it to her is missing. Another fiancée of a lost soldier was not allowed to walk behind the coffin because there was nothing to prove she was next of kin.

Final Thoughts

The U.K. asks its soldiers to provide a last will and testament as well personal photos to be released in the event of their death. In light of these tragic events, one may be inclined to give the real copy of the will to their family and a copy to the Ministry of Defence.