Military Families Support Group Homepage
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Soldiers Wills & Pensions
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Soldiers Wills & Pensions

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
Elaine View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group

Joined: 01 Dec 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 3782
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Elaine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Soldiers Wills & Pensions
    Posted: 07 May 2017 at 11:37am
Theresa May steps in after dead soldier's £120,000 Army payout is given to his FRIEND rather than his widow
Charlotte Hughes' sergeant husband Andy died in car crash in October aged 33
Her £120,000 death-in-service benefit was paid to his friend Andrew Cooke
Mr Cooke has so far failed to give her the money, despite saying that he would
May wrote to Mrs Hughes: ‘I was deeply sorry to learn of your husband’s death'

By Mark Nicol Defence Correspondent For The Mail On Sunday

Published: 00:07, 7 May 2017 | Updated: 00:12, 7 May 2017

Theresa May has ordered an urgent inquiry into red tape around military pensions after a soldier’s £120,000 death-in-service benefit was paid to his friend instead of his widow.

Bereaved Charlotte Hughes, 27, was denied the pay-out following the death of her husband Andy, a sergeant in the Intelligence Corps, in a car crash in October. He was 33.

The Prime Minister wrote to Mrs Hughes, a teacher, telling her: ‘I was deeply sorry to learn of your husband’s tragic death and would like to offer my most sincere condolences.

Theresa May has ordered an urgent inquiry into red tape around military pensions after soldier Andy Hughes' £120,000 death-in-service benefit was paid to his friend instead of his widow Charlotte.

‘I was also very sorry to read of the difficulties you have faced in regard to the Armed Forces Pension Scheme.’

She has asked the Minister for Defence Veterans, Mark Lancaster, to investigate.

Sgt Hughes had indicated in his will that his wife should be the sole recipient of his estate, but the benefit was paid to a former Intelligence Corps colleague, Andrew Cooke, 30.

Despite allegedly telling Mrs Hughes initially that he would give her the money, Mr Cooke has so far not done so.

The fiasco began in 2013 when Sgt Hughes deployed to Afghanistan and was told to nominate someone to receive the payout should he be killed in action.

He had just started dating his future wife so she declined his offer to nominate her, and he chose Mr Cooke.

Sgt Hughes and Charlotte got engaged in Morocco in June last year and married two months later.

The Prime Minister wrote to Mrs Hughes, a teacher, telling her: ‘I was deeply sorry to learn of your husband’s tragic death and would like to offer my most sincere condolences'

Shortly after, he made a new military will and gave his wife’s name and address after a paragraph that reads: ‘I give all my estate and effects and everything that I can give or dispose of to…’

On October 14, Sgt Hughes suffered fatal brain injuries in the crash near their new home in Broadway, Worcs, and died in hospital four days later.

His widow said Mr Cooke contacted her to say that he was due to receive the benefit but assured her he would give the money ‘entirely’ to her.

Now, she says he has reneged on this, and the MoD says he is the rightful recipient.

Mrs Hughes, who was close to Mr Cooke’s wife, said: ‘I’ve asked to see them but they’ve ignored me. I’m very hurt.’

The Mail on Sunday understands that Mr Cooke, 30, left the Army last year to retrain as a nurse and is working in the West Midlands.

Last night, his father, Dr Roger Cooke, confirmed that he had passed on our requests for an interview, but added: ‘I think the bottom line is he’s keen not to take it any further.’

Mrs Hughes said: ‘The MoD has closed ranks but I am campaigning for change.’

She is backed by the Forces Pensions Society whose Assistant General Secretary, Hugo Fletcher, said: ‘This issue is a ticking time bomb and affects people across the Army, Navy and Air Force.’

The MoD said: ‘We cannot comment on specific cases, however officials are working to review current processes to ensure that our personnel’s wishes are fulfilled.’

Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Edited by Elaine - 07 May 2017 at 11:41am
Back to Top
Elaine View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group

Joined: 01 Dec 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 3782
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Elaine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Aug 2013 at 9:32am
Fiancee of murdered soldier Lee Rigby left with nothing from his estate because he forgot to change will after splitting from his wife

Lee Rigby was engaged to Aimee West, 22, at the time of his death

His estranged wife Rebecca, mother of his son, will inherit him

By Mail On Sunday Reporter

PUBLISHED: 02:02, 25 August 2013 | UPDATED: 02:02, 25 August 2013

The fiancee of murdered soldier Lee Rigby will get nothing from his £57,000 estate  because he failed to change his will after splitting from his wife.

Fusilier Rigby, who died of multiple stab wounds in the street outside Woolwich Barracks, wrote his will in 2008 before he deployed to Afghanistan.

At the time he was happily married to Rebecca Rigby, 30   the mother of his two-year-old son Jack.

Lee Rigby was engaged to Aimee West, 22, at the time of his death, but his estranged wife Rebecca, mother of his son, will inherit him.

Aimee West, 22, at the time of his brutal murder, but she will not inherit anything from his £57,000 estate

Loss: Lee Rigby was engaged to Aimee West, 22, at the time of his brutal murder, but she will not inherit anything from his £57,000 estate

But by the time of his murder, the 25-year-old from Middleton, Greater Manchester, was engaged to Royal Military Policewoman Aimee West, 22.

Miss West, from Feltham, Middlesex, was serving in Afghanistan when Fusilier Rigby was killed in May.

She was immediately flown back to Britain on compassionate grounds and was photographed tearfully placing a bouquet of flowers outside Woolwich Barracks and being comforted by colleagues.

Both Miss West and Mrs Rigby attended the soldier's military funeral at Bury Parish Church last month, although they kept a respectful distance from each other throughout the service.

Fusilier Rigby, a machine gunner in the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was separated from his wife, but they had not divorced.

Rebecca, from Halifax, West Yorkshire, was still nominated as his next-of-kin.

Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, have been charged with murder and will stand trial at the Old Bailey in November.

Read more:

Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook


Edited by Elaine - 07 May 2017 at 11:37am
Back to Top
Elaine View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group

Joined: 01 Dec 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 3782
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Elaine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 2013 at 9:23pm

J7.101. The recommended methods of making a will which are available to Service personnel may be summarised as follows:

a. As for Civilians

(1) By drawing up a will on expert advice.

(2) By using one of the printed forms which can be purchased.

(3) By writing a simple will on a sheet of paper.

b. Methods Available to Service Personnel Only

(1) Use of MOD Form 106 (see para J7.104).

(2) In exceptional circumstances, as stated in para J7.106.

J7.102. Subject to the exceptions stated in para J7.106, the laws which apply to the making of wills by civilians apply to the making ofwills by members of the armed forces. The laws for England, Wales and Northern Ireland differ from those for Scotland and other parts of the world. Personnel domiciled outside these countries, or who are not British subjects, and who wish to make a will are advised to obtain legal advice in order to ascertain the procedure which must be followed and the formalities which must be observed. Persons under the age of 18 years cannot make a will under the law applicable to England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Persons domiciled in Scotland may, however, make a will at the age of 14 years.

Duties of Commanding Officers

J7.103. Commanding officers are to ensure that all personnel entitled to make a will are urged to do so. Personnel making a will should be advised that if for any reason they afterwards wish to change the distribution of their estate they should make a fresh will. In addition commanding officers are to remind personnel that it may be desirable to make a will (or a fresh will) on any alteration of marital status or change of next of kin and that it is desirable to make a will before proceeding overseas. They should point out that if no will is made the estate (including money, balance of pay and personal belongings) must be distributed in the event of death according to the laws of the country of domicile governing intestate estates, which may result in the estate having to be distributed in a way which the deceased would not have wished, and that the nomination of a next of kin does not take the place of a will.

Making of Wills

J7.104. A form of will (MOD Form 106) may be obtained on application to the unit orderly room. The attention of personnel using this form should be drawn to the notes on the reverse side of the form. Personnel may make their own arrangements for drawing up a will if they prefer to do so.

7.105. Advice on the making of a will outside the United Kingdom can be obtained from Army Legal Services. Personnel serving in the United Kingdom should be advised to seek the aid of a solicitor.

J7.106. Service personnel, including those under 18 years of age, may be able to make informal unwitnessedwills, usually during war time, but in the interests of their beneficiaries they should make a formal will at the earliest opportunity.

Custody of Wills

J7.107. Completed wills should not be kept with personal belongings, but should be deposited in safe custody. Officers must make their own arrangements for the safe custody of theirwills. A rating, soldier or airman may hand a completed will to his commanding officer who is to forward it by recorded delivery to the Army Personnel Centre (Document Handling Centre (DHC)WillsSection). He is to record the fact that he has done so and ensure that a receipt is obtained in respect of each will. He is to retain the receipt of registration until he has been informed by the recipient that the will has been deposited in safe custody. Alternatively, a serviceman can make his own arrangements for custody.
Back to Top
Elaine View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group

Joined: 01 Dec 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 3782
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Elaine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 2013 at 9:49am
Soldiers' wills can be complicated

09 I 09 I 09

Soldiers' wills can be complicated

Matthew Evans


A bitter dispute over an alleged Last Will and Testament of a British Marine killed in Afghanistan has recently made the headlines and brings into sharp focus the unique and complex law surrounding Wills for British service men and women.

In December 2008 Cpl Rob Deering was killed after stepping on a Taliban booby trap mine whilst rushing to help his injured colleagues in Helmand Province. He was serving with the Commando Logistic Regiment.

At the time of his death Cpl Deering was in a relationship with his girlfriend, Gemma Polino and had been for four and a half years. Earlier in 2008 (before Cpl Deering returned to Afghanistan in August) they had moved into a 148,000 house in Sheldon, Birmingham. They were due to marry this May.

Upon Cpl Deerings death, Miss Polino attempted to claim the proceeds of his estate on the basis that she was aware that he had executed a Will shortly before returning to Afghanistan leaving his estate, including his share of the house and a life assurance policy to cover the mortgage, to her. If such a Will existed then it would supersede a Will written in 2006 in which Cpl Deering left his estate to his sister, Elaine.

Despite searches being undertaken by the MOD, however, there appears to be no record of a new Will as described by Miss Polino. For her part she insists that Cpl Deering handed the document in just before he left for Afghanistan but it was lost by unit administrators before it could be sent for safekeeping to the documents handling unit in Glasgow.

The family, on the other hand, deny that Cpl Deering would have executed such a document and say that his colleagues had told them of his intentions to leave the bulk of his estate to them.

Despite the involvement of John Hutton, the then Defence secretary and Defence Minister Kevan Jones, the matter currently remains unresolved and could well result in expensive and acrimonious legal proceedings.

Disputes over Wills of members of the armed forces are not uncommon and Hugh James has recently dealt with matters arising in the estate of Pte Gavin Williams, a young servicemen from South Wales who died leaving a standard services Will in which he bequeathed his entire estate to his then girlfriend to the exclusion of his family, including his younger sister to whom he was very close and who suffered from a disability.

Unfortunately, by the time that Pte Williams died he had long split up with his girlfriend but had not taken any steps to alter the terms of his Will. Moreover, due to the nature and timing of his death, Pte Williams estate was substantially larger than he perhaps could ever have envisaged at the time that he made it. Notwithstanding those circumstances, his ex-girlfriend refused to relinquish the majority of her interest in the estate and ultimately Pte Williams mother, Debra, had to take the difficult decision to accept a small payment from the estate on behalf of the family rather than risk substantial legal costs pursuing the matter further.

Investigations into the circumstances surrounding the execution of Pte Williams Will revealed that the completion of the document was part of the routine process which the serviceman went through when entering the armed forces and, in all likelihood, he probably gave very little thought to the contents of it or much consideration to it afterwards.

Both of the above cases are examples of problems that can arise from Wills made by service men and women but the position is arguably exacerbated further by the unique law that governs them.

For example, it is long standing British law that Wills of soldiers in actual military service are not required to follow the standard requirements that usually govern Wills as provided by the Wills Act 1837. What that means in practice is that such privileged Wills do not have to be witnessed in the way that a non-privileged Will would.

Moreover, a soldier in actual military service can make (and revoke) a privileged Will even though they are under the age of eighteen, unlike non-privileged Wills.

Perhaps even more surprisingly, the Will does not even have to be in writing and can, in certain circumstances, simply constitute of words spoken by the testator so long as it is a deliberate expression of his wishes and not a mere casual conversation. In the same way that a privileged Will can be made orally, it can also be revoked orally although simply a return to civil life or a lapse in time will not be sufficient for revocation. As with non-privileged Wills, however, marriage will revoke a privileged Will.

Over the years case law has extended the scope of privileged Wills to members of the Royal Navy and Marine Forces and also members of the Royal Air Force. The term soldier has also been found to mean officers of every rank and service, although not civilian engineers employed by the army but having no military status.

The definition of actual military service has also been broadened considerably and certainly does not simply mean individuals within the theatre of war.

As is apparent, all of the above legal peculiarities and nuances can potentially give rise to disputes and confusion and expert legal advice may therefore prove invaluable.
Back to Top
Elaine View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group

Joined: 01 Dec 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 3782
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Elaine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 2013 at 9:32am
Armed Forces Wills & Powers of Attorney

Armed forces personnel have high risk jobs and for their own sakes and those of their families, they simply must be properly prepared if things go wrong. Both a Last Will and testament and Lasting Powers of Attorney

Armed Forces Personnel: a speech by John Glen (Salisbury) (Con):

I begin by acknowledging, as many others have, the welcome and historic breakthrough of enshrining the armed forces covenant in law. However, as the Prime Minister himself has said, the challenge is to make the Government live up to the obligations in it in reality. It is critical that we bring the aspirations that we all have for the covenant together with the realities that we are faced with in trying to deliver it.

The awful reality is that members of the armed forces and their families may have to face death or injury while they are serving. If the worst happens, it is extremely important to ensure that the right processes are in place and to make certain that the wishes of those who have been killed or wounded are carried out. I wish to focus my few remarks on that.

All armed forces personnel are advised in pre-deployment briefings to make a will. A form, MOD 106, is provided for the purpose. Unfortunately, no advice is given on making the Will, nor is there any compulsion to do so. Little information is given to those serving on the risk of mental incapacity following a tour of duty, or on the fact that if there are such complications, the management of financial affairs will not be sufficiently dealt with by a will. In reality, members of the armed forces would need to have a legal power of attorney document to be used in those circumstances, but it must be registered before the mental incapacity happens to make it valid for use when an injury occurs.

Many complicating factors conspire to mean that in many cases, our service personnel may not be properly legally protected in such situations. First, there is a cultural battle. Many young men and women who want to serve are less likely to make a will, because they feel invincible before a tour of duty after undergoing sustained training, or sometimes because they do not want to tempt fate. Secondly, a will speaks only from death. Many personnel are under the misconception that a will covers all eventualities, including mental injury, but it will not. That means that there is a real need to deal with the legal power of attorney option properly.

The consequence of not having a legal power of attorney document can be far-reaching and cause enormous problems for those left behind. I have been made aware of the case of a young man who tragically lost his life. He had made a will, but did not have legal power of attorney in place in the right way, which caused some difficulties. The will was also out of date, which meant that the benefits did not go the people he intended them to. Similarly, another person was in the middle of an acrimonious divorce, and his will did not work as he wished. The outcome was that it did not accurately reflect his updated wishes, which caused major complications for his family.

As we know, more people who serve in the armed forces are surviving terrible injuries that they would not have survived 10 years ago. Some are unable to manage their affairs when they have recovered from physical injuries, which means that someone must do so on their behalf. An LPA would solve a lot of problems in such cases. It is true that an LPA pack can be downloaded from the Office of the Public Guardian, but it costs 130 to register the LPA when all the forms are completed. That will seem like a lot of money to service personnel, many of whom are young people who might believe that nothing will happen to theman LPA is probably the last thing they want to spend their money on. Defence instructions mention that document, but I am given to understand that they lack detail and contain errors.

If no LPA is in place, a deputyship must be applied for on behalf of the injured service person, which can be extremely expensive, as can the ongoing maintenance costs of a professional deputyship. I am aware of one case of a deputyship costing about 60,000 per annum to service. Solicitors who manage compensation claims will choose to instruct a professional deputy when a lay deputy is perfectly viable, which drives up the costs that take away from compensation schemesthey will have to borne by the MOD.

I see this as a specific covenant issue: if we are prepared to send young people off to fight and possibly die or be gravely injured for their country, and if we invest so heavily in the correct equipment and training for them while they are on operations, we must also have a duty of care to ensure that their affairs are in the order that they would wish them to be in if they are injured or killed. We have concentrated on equally important matters until now, but this issue needs to be looked at again in more detail as part of the pastoral care package that is offered to service personnel.

I am not seeking to embarrass the MOD or the Ministerthis is a constructive suggestion on which I have worked with hon. Members on both sides of the Housebut the Mental Capacity Act 2005 made this issue real, which is why it needs further examination. What should be done? I would like all those on deployment, and ideally all service personnel, to have an up-to-date will and LPA in place. It would be best to have a will pre-enrolment, but personnel should certainly have one pre-deployment.

I have also had meetings with a group who have a proposal for an organisation called the services trustI met the group earlier this week. They would like to assist the MOD and serving personnel with information on some of the gaps to which I have drawn the Houses attention. The group could also help with processing LPAs and could act as deputies if necessary.

It would be useful to train admin officers to give relevant information on the consequences of not writing a will or of having no LPA. In fact, the Office of the Public Guardian held a consultation on what groups of people should be exempted from the 130 LPA fee, but it did not include the MOD. That unnecessary oversight needs to be corrected.

It should be feasible to spread the cost of an LPA over a number of months and to take it from the wage packets of personnel at source. That is done for a variety of costs, and it would be a simple matter to add it to the joint personnel administration system. Payments could even be taken out with payments for the armed forces insurance scheme.

To return to where I began, the Government have made a commitment to the welfare of the armed forces by enshrining the covenant in law. It is essential that that commitment is extended to ensure that not only their financial and operational needs are met, but their legal needs. I respectfully ask the Minister to give an indication of whether he is prepared to meet me and other hon. Members, and representatives behind the services trust proposal, to establish what can be done to address that proven need in our armed forces.

Back to Top
Elaine View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group

Joined: 01 Dec 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 3782
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Elaine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 2013 at 9:23am
MoD loses wills of British heroes: Heartbreak for families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan

By Sue Reid
Created 9:50 PM on 26th July 2009

Gemma Polino's partner, Corporal Rob Deering, was killed by the Taliban in 2008. He had to write his will twice

The last wishes of soldiers killed in Afghanistan are not being honoured because the wills of fallen heroes are being lost by bungling officials.

The heartbreaking mistakes by the Ministry of Defence have caused deep rifts between the dead men's grieving families and other bereaved loved ones.

Despite an urgent investigation by the MoD, four wills of Royal Marines are still missing. Across the entire Armed Services, the figure is suspected to be far higher.

It sparked calls for a broader inquiry, with one MP accusing the Government of 'bureaucratic incompetence bordering on cruelty'.

The wills controversy is the latest to emboil the Defence Ministry, which has already faced angry claims that it sent servicemen to fight with inadequate equipment, poor reconnaissance vehicles and a lack of helicopters.

Now the Government stands accused of failing its duty to soldiers even after they have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Twenty British soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan in July alone.

A total of 189 British servicemen and women have been killed in the country, passing the grim toll of 179 who have died in Iraq since the invasion in 2003. A report yesterday even said troops sent to Afghanistan have a one in 47 chance of returning home in a coffin.

The Daily Mail has learned that one bereaved partner of a Marine may lose the 148,000 home they bought together in Sheldon, Birmingham, because his latest will, stating that his half of the property should be left to her, is missing.

According to Gemma Polino the couple, listed on the UK Land Registry as joint owners, were to have married this May.

This week Gemma Polino started legal action to delay the distribution of her partner Corporal Rob Deering's estate while a further search by the MoD for the 2008 will is made.

Another woman left grieving the loss of a Royal Marine was not allowed to escort his coffin because there was no proof she was his kin.

Before a tour of duty in a war zone, every serviceman is asked to name - in order of priority - two next of kin to be informed if they are killed.

They log these details into the personnel system at their unit.

In addition, each serviceman is requested to write a will. This is placed in a sealed envelope with his funeral wishes and choice of personal photographs he wants released in the event of death.

The receipt of the will envelope is logged in by administrators at the serviceman's unit, before being sent by them to the Service Personnel and Veterans' Agency's Document Handling Centre in Glasgow.

An executive agency of the Ministry of Defence, the centre is responsible for releasing the will to executors if he dies.

Defence Minister Kevan Jones says a 'complete and thorough' review of wills of men serving with the three Armed services, the Royal Navy, Army and the Royal Air Force has been conducted following complaints from the families and fiancees of the dead.

However, Corporal Deering's will has still not been traced.

In a second tragic case, Kate Miller, the 26-year-old fiancee of Marine Neil Dunstan, killed in Helmand Province last November, risked losing the house they bought together in Plymouth.

She was told by the Ministry of Defence that a will naming her as Corporal Deering's main beneficiary did not exist. It was later found 'in a drawer' and she has received an apology.

The Ministry of Defence has admitted searching for five missing wills of Marines. However, it insists that in four of the cases the allegations that they have been lost are unsubstantiated.

It has refused to give a figure for missing or mislaid wills across the Armed Forces.

Gemma Polino's Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming said: 'There has to be a wide-ranging investigation into the whole system of how wills and other documents of the fallen are handled by the MoD. The Government has no excuse.

'Relatives and fiancees who believe wills are missing have now been stopped by the MoD from telephoning the Glasgow handling centre directly to make inquiries.

'This smacks of an attempt to protect the MoD rather than the loved ones of the men.'

The MoD said last night that there have been 15 complaints or queries about missing wills since 2005. They involved dead from all the Armed Forces. Three were found after a search, including that of Corporal Dunstan.

'I'm scared we will lose everything Rob wanted for us. . .'

Gemma Polino is pencil-thin. Her shoulder blades stick out through her designer dress and her pretty face is hollow.

Since her Marine partner Corporal Rob Deering was killed by a booby trap Taliban bomb on December 21 last year, she has hardly eaten, and her dress size has gone down from ten to four.

His death was a crushing blow. The couple lived together at their home in Sheldon, Birmingham. 'We chose it because it is near a good nursery and school,' said Gemma yesterday. 'It was to be for ever.'

Together for five years, they had even chosen a cake and Gemma's dress for their wedding this May.

But the tragic loss of Rob has been made worse by the mystery of the will that Gemma insists he wrote only weeks before he was killed.

She says the Ministry of Defence has lost it, which means she may lose the home they bought together 18 months ago. In the will, Rob left Gemma his half share of the house and the life insurance payout to cover the mortgage.

Corporal Rob Deering
Corporal Rob Deering was killed by a booby trap Taliban bomb in December 2008

But the MoD says it only has an earlier will, made in 2006, which names the main beneficiary of his estate as his sister. In a further twist, the lost will has provoked difficulties between Gemma and Rob's family.

His sister wants the house, and as relations between Gemma and her have deteriorated, the family have kept many of his personal possessions,including his mobile phone with Gemma's intimate text messages to him on it and the letters she sent to him in Aghanistan.

Rob started a tour of duty in Helmand Province in August last year. Before he went the couple sat on the leather sofa of their home and agreed the instructions that should go into his will. They even chose the eulogy which would be read at his funeral if he died.

It was a precious, if sad, time which Gemma will never forget.

'We went through the details for hours. He made me his main beneficiary of his will because he wanted me to be secure if he was killed,' she recalls.

Rob was about to set off from his unit at the Commando Logistic Regiment in Barnstaple, North Devon, when the will was lost by unit administrators before it could be sent for safekeeping to the Glasgow documents handling centre.

In what may be a double blunder by the MoD, Rob was asked to write it again before he left with unit for Afghanistan.

'He was very angry about that,' says Gemma. 'He redid it all, he told me so. He was a very organised person. All the house papers, the bills and everything were kept in orderly files by him.'

But a few days after 33-year-old Rob was killed, Gemma learned from MoD officials that this second 2008 will did not exist.

A letter from John Hutton, then Defence Secretary, to her family states: 'The MoD must treat Rob's will dated 29th August 2006 as valid for the purpose of administering his estate.'

Gemma is now receiving a military widow's pension as Rob's next of kin and has the copy of the official MoD document he gave to his unit with instructions about who to contact if he was killed.

In his own writing, it clearly names his partner as his 'other half'.

Yet, under civilian law, she cannot inherit from him unless a will is found. Defence minister Kevan Jones says in a letter to her MP: 'I must conclude that Corporal Deering either did not complete it, or he lodged it privately without informing anyone of its location.'

Says Gemma: 'We have received a different answer from everyone.

'Rob told me that when he and other Marines were asked to hand in their passports at the unit they were just thrown together on a desk. The Marines joked that they wanted them to be lost so they wouldn't be able to travel.'

When Rob was killed, Gemma said at first she wanted to die too. 'Everything has been made worse by this,' she says. 'I am scared that I will lose everything that Rob wanted for us.'

'Not being allowed to walk behind Neil's coffin was a terrible thing'

Kate Miller is a strong character. She is a primary school teacher and says that since her Marine fiance Neil Dunstan was killed in November last year it is the children there who have kept her sane.

She has struggled to recover from her loss, while facing another battle to find the will that Neil wrote and left in the care of the Ministry of Defence.

Heartbreakingly, Kate was not allowed to walk behind his coffin at his military funeral attended by 1,000 mourners in Dorset. She was told by the civilian vicar that there was nothing to prove she was his 'next of kin' after his will vanished.

Kate Miller
Kate Miller was not allowed to walk behind her Marine fiance Neil Dunstan's coffin at his military funeral

The document written by Neil, 32, a reconnaissance operator, naming her officially as the next of kin was inexplicably ignored by the military authorities who failed to step in.

Lost too is the favourite photo of Neil that the couple chose to be released by the MoD if he died. As a result, the MoD gave out the wrong picture of him to the Press.

During the mix-ups, no evidence was found of Neil's will being logged in at his unit - 42 Command in Stonehouse, Plymouth - although he promised Kate it had been.

However, it must have been received from Neil. For after Kate rang an MoD helpline five times and complained to Ministers, the will naming her as the main beneficiary turned up 'in a drawer' at the Glasgow documents' centre.

A letter from Colonel Lauder at the Service Personnel and Veterans' Agency in Hampshire to Gemma says: 'Had it not been for your intervention, your partner's executor may have attempted to resolve the estate with an out-of-date will that did not reflect his true intentions.'

The letter blamed an 'administrative error at the document holding centre in Glasgow'.

Kate and Neil, her partner for four years. had been saving up to marry and had bought a house together in Plymouth.

Neil Dunstan
Neil Dunstan, 32, was killed in November 2008. His will which was left in the care of the Ministry of Defence has vanished

But if the current will, dated August 6 last year, had not been discovered she faced losing the house.

The MoD insisted that his previous will from 2004 naming his mother as the main beneficiary was the only one it had. She stood to inherit his half-share of the house.

The debacle has caused a rift between Kate and Neil's mother. Kate says: 'Not to be able to walk behind Neil's coffin was a terrible thing. I was not allowed in the leading funeral hearse going to the church either. His mother was in that.

'I feel these mistakes by the MoD are much more widespread than the military authorities admit.

'These men go to war for their country believing that they have made their wishes clear. Then they get let down by the system when they have given their lives.'

Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Edited by Elaine - 12 Aug 2013 at 9:25am
Back to Top
Elaine View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group

Joined: 01 Dec 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 3782
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Elaine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Nov 2012 at 9:43am
"Ive lost everything: Disabled mum goes on hunger strike as benefits cut after soldier son's death
24 Nov 2012 00:00

The single mum says she is prepared to die to get David Cameron to change rules which prevent her carrying out her sons final wishes

The mother of the youngest British soldier to die in Afghanistan will go on hunger strike in protest at the Government.

Disabled Lucy Aldridge lost 300 a week in benefits after son William, 18, died in a blast in 2009, leaving her 218,000 in insurance and death-in-service payouts.

The single mum says she is prepared to die to get David Cameron to change rules which prevent her carrying out her sons final wishes.

Lucy, 44, will stop taking food on Monday and is sending her sons George, nine, and Archie, seven, to stay with close relatives.

Her eldest son William died seven weeks after his 18th birthday while serving with The 2nd Battalion, The Rifles in July 2009.

His troop was hit by two roadside bombs in a daisy chain Taliban attack in Helmand province. In all, five Riflemen died in the attack.

Brave William spent his last moments helping the injured and comforting badly-wounded commanding officer Major Alistair Field.

After William died around 218,000 was paid into his estate from death-in-service and insurance pay-outs.

Lucy lost around 300 a week in means tested benefits because of the pay-out after son William's death.

She was left with about 140 a week in disability, child tax credits and child benefit to raise her family.

Before leaving home for the last time the teenager told his mum that if he died in action he wanted all the money to be used for the upbringing of his two younger brothers.

But Lucy told yesterday how her housing and council tax benefit and income support have all been stopped since the money was paid into Williams estate which she administers.

She has been threatened with eviction from her three-bedroom home in Herefordshire over rent arrears and warned she faces bailiffs for non payment of council tax.

Lucy tried to kill herself by taking an overdose in June.

Son: Will is the youngest soldier to die in Afghanistan

She said: Williams intention was to provide for his younger brothers in the event of his death.

He knew that with my disabilities I wouldnt be able to provide them with the same things he had.

He wanted to make sure there would be something set up for their future to ease the burden on me.

This is about the failure of the government to uphold the very principals of the Armed Forces covenant they introduced in May 2011.

Ive written to David Cameron but his response was that it would be inappropriate for him to get involved in my case.

I feel he has let me down. I have exhausted every channel open to me.

"The government are not even prepared to review the way compensation to bereaved families is treated.

But Im not prepared to accept no for an answer because death in service payments should be exempt when means tested benefits are calculated.

Im in a complete Catch 22 situation of the governments creation. When you have your back to the wall you die or you come out fighting.

When you come out fighting you may still die - but at least you can say you fought.

At the end of the day, simply as a mother I owe this to my son and every other young man and woman who signs away their life when they swear allegiance to Queen and country.

Will died for something he believed in - its just a shame the government dont have the same power of their convictions.

Lucy paid her way through college to qualify as a graphic designer.

She worked as a printer and had jobs in a theatre and as a carer in a residential home before being diagnosed with a degenerative and incurable tissue disease called Hypermobility Syndrome.

The mum is currently looking for work even though she has been awarded full disability allowance for life.

Lucy wanted to invest the payouts on Williams death to provide for his brothers future well-being.

But she has already been forced to spend half the money on day to day living expenses in a bid to make ends meet for the family since her benefits were stopped.

Tribute: Lucy with her sons George and Archie

She said: Im not a solicitor, Im just a mum trying to come to terms with a death which was extremely traumatic and violent.

Ive been to a tribunal to say the money isnt mine - it was intended for my children.

I can talk about my case because Im living the nightmare and have been left with nothing to live on - but this is about a much bigger picture.

I want to make sure this doesnt happen to other families because Ive lost everything.

The future that my eldest son envisaged for his young brothers has been destroyed so I actually have very little more to lose.

The only reason I lost my benefits was because my son died at war.

From Monday I will refuse to eat any food and I will continue to do so until the government agree to negotiate a review of how compensation payments to the bereaved are treated.

I will survive on fluids. My children will be cared for by close family because I dont want them to be exposed to what I am doing.

I hope my children will forgive me. They will be shielded as much as is possible.

I will be at home alone. Everything I possess and everything belonging to my late son is here.

Being threatened with losing all that means I havent got anything else to lose.

I can hopefully make the government see the human element in all this and persuade them to make a change so others will not suffer in future.

Im not doing this because I want to die - but if I have to take it right to the end I will.

If I die the government will not only have the blood of my son on their hands they will have mine too.

I personally know so many families who have suffered the same way through losing their sons in Afghanistan.

Some of their stories are horrendous.

This is about current legislation preventing a mum carrying out her sons last wishes. How much can a human being take?

A Dept for Work and Pensions spokeswoman said: "We have an absolute commitment to members of the Armed Forces and their families. Money can never compensate for the loss of a loved one, but families of our Servicemen and women who are tragically killed on active duty do receive financial support.

"The welfare state is there to help people with very little means to support themselves, and that means that people with savings above 16,000 are usually not eligible for all benefits. However, they may still qualify for non means tested support like Disability Living Allowance."
Back to Top
Elaine View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group

Joined: 01 Dec 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 3782
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Elaine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 2012 at 10:24am
By Telegraph reporters
3:43PM BST 29 Aug 2012

Carol Garside, 48, of Holton-le-Clay, Lincs wept as she was taken from the dock at Lincoln Crown Court to start a nine month prison sentence.

Having co-habited with another man after the death of her first husband and later remarried, she was not entitled to the War Widows' or Armed Forces' Pension she claimed between 1993 and 2011.

An anonymous tip-off led Ministry of Defence investigators to check her claims over the previous 18 years following her co-habitation and eventual marriage to a fireman Andrew Garside.

She admitted a total of four offences, including obtaining money by deception by failing to admit she was living with another man.

She also admitted fraud and failure to disclose her new domestic situation. The court heard there will be Proceeds of Crime proceedings against Garside later this year to force her to repay the money.

Sentencing Garside, now a married mother-of-two, Judge Sean Morris said: "Over many years you were defrauding the Armed Forces Pension Scheme. That amounted to nearly 145,000. That is a considerable sum."

He added that benefit fraud offences are "easy to commit" but "cost the country a fortune. When people are found to have committed fraud, in order to discourage others, there has to be a deterrent," added Judge Morris.

"This was deliberate fraud and for a considerable period of time you had a better standard of living."

Relatives in the public gallery gasped as the sentence was passed down and Garside clasped her mouth and said: "Oh God. I didn't do it on purpose. What about my children?"

Chris Geeson, prosecuting, said a total of 143,943.79 had been fraudulently claimed because she had failed to declare her co-habitation.

He said the widow had been repeatedly asked in letters sent by the MoD each year, whether there had been any change to her circumstances.

In interview, she said she had not read any of the letters or terms and conditions of the pension payments. Mr Geeson said it had been an "anonymous tip-off" which started the investigation.

Shortly after MoD officials sent her a letter in March last year, she announced her marriage to fireman Mr Garside and they got married on April 23 last year.

Representing Garside, Terry Boston, said his client married Michael Thomas, a Royal Navy serviceman, in 1984. Three years later he was tragically killed in a road accident. A friend of theirs had also died.

He said his client was in a confused state at the time and never had any intention of defrauding the Armed Forces. He said she assumed she was entitled to the pension unless she remarried.

Mr Boston added: "She accepts that papers were sent to her and she ought to have known. She accepts she was dishonest. "She felt sick to the stomach with guilt . She was not trying to hide that they were living together. They have two children, bills are paid together. She is fearful of custody but the greatest punishment is the guilt and shame she is feeling."

Garside had offered 400-per month to pay back the money she had taken, he said.

Back to Top
Elaine View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group

Joined: 01 Dec 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 3782
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Elaine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 2012 at 9:54am
From Ian Sadler:-

Dear Hugo and Mark Francois,

2 issues relating to my son's death.

1 The fraud and misrepresentation regarding one of Jack's girlfriends' receiving a pension.

2. Lack of support for our soldiers 2006 to 2009.

On the 17th OCT 2012 I sent Minister of State Mark Francois a letter related to a letter I had sent to the PM (9TH JULY 2012).

I was surprised Mr Francois had responded (his letter 12 OCT 2012) as my questions referred to support for our soldiers, and I thought Mr Francois would have been more interested in the other issue of fraud and misrepresentation of facts for one of my son's girlfriend's to receive a pension for life; considering Mr Francois is Minister for SPVA, and that department is responsible for administering these pensions.

How can it be right for a girlfriend to receive a pension, when fraud and misrepresentation took place, (which continues to be paid even though the girlfriend has now married and is supported by her husband), then a genuine war widow goes to prison because she shared accommodation, and is treated as a benefits cheat?

The letter is copied below.

It can be seen there is a typing error. Under the heading VEHICLES and MINES I have repeated the name of the vehicle 'Saracen' twice; it should read Saladin and Saracen. I have attached pictures to this email.

The Rt Hon Mark Francois MP

Min of State for Defence Personnel Welfare and Veterans

Ministry of Defence

Floor 5 Zone B Main Building

Whitehall London


Your Ref:D/Min(DPWV) MF MC03727/2012


Dear Mr Francois,

Thank you for your letter DATED 12 OCT 2012 (that I received yesterday) in response to my letter to the PM dated 09 JULY 2012.

In your role as Minister for Personnel, Welfare and Veterans I am surprised your letter didn't cover my issues regarding the fraud over my son Jack's girlfriend being awarded a pension for life?

When I received the letter from David Cameron I must confess that was what I expected.

I checked the link to the website giving the Government's response to the Select Defence Committee's conclusions.


I am in no doubt there was a shortage of helicopters, for the period 2006 to 2009 (SDC Report period in question). I had heard the Government explanation before regarding the pooling of resources. It doesn't wash; if true:

a) There would have been no need to employ foreign civilian contractors to fly hired helicopters.

b) There would have been no need to reconfigure the 6 Merlin helicopters (But why did that take 2 years to complete?), and send them to Afghanistan.

c) The 8 Chinooks held at Middle Wallop for 8 years, lying idle, (Major cock up) would not have caused such controversy (around Col. Thornloe's death) when they were downgraded and put in to service.

d) Why the 'Pinch Points'? It could be said that my son's death was directly related to this shortage of helicopters as on the day he was killed his 'Reconnaissance Unit' were being used to escort 2 (Air portable) Light Guns, and their ammunition.

e) Why did Jack relay to me that his unit was reliant on re-supply by air, and the airdrops were less than satisfactory. The RAF alternated between Chinook helicopter deliveries, and Hercules transport planes, ejecting supplies in flight, (sensitive equipment had to be delivered by Chinook as dropping kit from the rear of a Hercules in flight had the potential for damage). This meant delays for essential items and rationing of batteries for the ECM equipment (Vital IED protection).

f) Why did Colonel Thornloe complain of the shortage of helicopters around that time, and why did he say that because of that shortage, more dangerous, journeys overland were being made that should have been by chopper?

g) Why did David Cameron ask the question, (In opposition) "If we have 500 helicopters on the books how is it less than 30 are deployed to Afghanistan?"

h) The SDC were not permitted to see some documents, and Gordon Brown's statements to the House regarding helicopters may have been revealed as lies; I believe he was aware of the shortages but had applied financial constraints. That would also have gone against his claims that all requirements, for kit, were satisfied.

You may not wish to investigate this accusation; but the fact is shortages made the environment a lot more hostile. The UOR's (Urgent Operational Requirements) were paid for by robbing the 'Armoured Vehicle' programme; something else that should be looked into.


I believe the real reason for the vehicles used was again down to cost.

The MoD explanation for the suitability of the unprotected vehicles (or unsuitably protected vehicles where mines are concerned and any buried bomb is a mine), is the same as stated in your letter. At my son's inquest the expert witnesses went further to explain the fragility of the infrastructure (road surfaces, irrigation and bridges etc.) If true why:

1) Deploy Warriors? (Heavy)

2) Deploy Vikings? (Heavy)

3) Why develop the Ocelot (too late for a lot of soldiers)?

If all vehicles can be overmatched why:

�     Have the STANAG 4569 mine test for vehicles?

�     Were the Saladin and Saracen produced with mine protection; then not replaced?

�     Did the South Africans develop a whole range of Mine Protected vehicles; leading up to the development of the Mastiff and the Ridgeback?

�     Why did the MoD develop/buy the Jackal (HMT 400 with some armour plate � not MRAP so a �Chocolate Teapot�)?

�     Why did the MoD purchase the Husky; when it failed the STANAG test (then say it should only be used in low risk areas)?

How can the MoD say the Land Rover and other unprotected vehicles were so suitable, when:

* Ben Parkinson (The most injured soldier to survive) had a Board of Inquiry investigate and they reached conclusions:

1) The Land Rover WMIKs were no match for Mines- even with ballistic matting.

2) The report states the Russian left 10 million mines in Afghanistan.

3) The �Look, Prod, Feel� method of mine detection was ineffective. (In fact the Taleban were wise to the BARMA approach and the Taleban perform all sorts of procedures to negate ECM or detection by detectors).

The MoD people were knowingly providing unsuitable vehicles when they were well aware of the IED/Mine threat!

Helicopters were part of the solution; but interaction with the natives could have been equally achieved in topless MRAP vehicles, without such vulnerability to explosions from below.

Had there been a �War Mentality� the findings reported at Ben�s Inquiry could have been acted upon and saved my son.

The MoD �Expert� at Jack�s inquest would have been aware of Ben�s report (I would be surprised if Col. Clee wasn�t on the panel), but kept quiet on the subject.

Jack�s commanding officer (CO Major Tony Phillips) says he was unaware of the findings of Ben�s BOI!

What is the point of learning lessons and not passing them on?

A man bitten by a dog is unlucky; the same man bitten by the same dog again is a fool!

BBC coverage of the SDC Report:

My criticism of the BBC reporting what they want, and how they want: I can�t believe you are satisfied with the state television and radio (paid for by compulsory license) having �their own agenda�.

The BBC should report the facts surely?

The BBC is not a privately owned media outlet; they have no right to be selective, or biased, with the news.

Yes they did reject my complaint; but with no sound reason only that they were entitled to �Creative Editing�. I am sorry Minister but that is censorship, or lying by omission, when the news is concerned!

We are not referring to some fashion show or flower festival are we?

Since when was it acceptable to manipulate the news; because that is what �Creative Editing� means?


Another Remembrance day has passed and these issues remain.

One of the mothers, on a military families bereaved facebook site, asked why I use a picture of my son�s coffin on a trestle as my Facebook logo. I had to reply that it is because I cannot lay my son to rest with these unanswered issues.

The 2 issues I have are both of administration, and both related to the prioritisation of cash/government funds/our tax monies.

Where should the money be spent:

1. Supporting our soldiers so that more return alive and in one piece?

2. On undeserving opportunistic girlfriends?

3. On sending genuine war widows to prison?



Edited by Elaine - 14 May 2017 at 10:14am
Back to Top
mfsg View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group

MFSG - Admin

Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Status: Offline
Points: 480
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mfsg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 2012 at 12:56pm
Four-month-old baby whose soldier father was killed in Afghanistan is denied compensation because paternity cannot be proved

Liam O'Brien Wednesday 24 October 2012

The 20-year-old was engaged to Emma Hickman, 19, who was pregnant with their child

A four-month-old baby whose father was killed in a Taliban bomb attack in Afghanistan is being denied compensation because paternity cannot be proved.

David Cameron has pledged to tackle the 'dreadful situation', which means Lexie-Mai is not recognised as the daughter of Private Daniel Wade.

Pte Wade, of 3rd Battalion, the Yorkshire Regiment, died alongside five comrades on the borders of Helmand Province in March this year when their armoured fighting vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. The 20-year-old was engaged to Emma Hickman, 19, who was pregnant with their child.

In Prime Ministers Questions, David Mowat, Conservative MP for Warrington South, said: "The Army will not accept paternity without evidence; nor will it release the DNA without a court order. As a consequence, Lexie-Mai receives nothing."

After her local MP highlighted her case, Ms Hickman said: "Daniel never got to meet Lexie-Mai and sadly he won't experience the joy of watching her growing up. It has been a long, hard journey to recognise Daniel as Lexie's father.

 "All I've ever asked is for the MoD to cooperate with me so that Lexie can grow up proud of her dad. That is what Daniel would have wanted."

David Cameron promised to move quickly and get this sorted, but admitted there could be a legal wrangle over Ms Hickman's case. In some cases, soldiers tissue samples are retained  either when the Royal Military Police recover samples while investigating operational deaths, or if service personnel voluntarily hand over a DNA sample before deployment.

But that's no guarantee that a paternity test will take place. The legal restrictions surrounding this material are very strict, and its release would require either the permission of the deceased's legal representative or the imposition of a court order.

Mr Mowat told The Independent: "As far as the army is concerned, [Emma] is not the next of kin", adding that there had been difficulties in persuading Pte Wade's representatives to allow access to the DNA.

Emma has to get a court order, and it's a big job for someone who's 19 years old. She has to take on the system. Hopefully the Prime Minister will get this moving. If it's his baby, then some compensation should be going to the mother. We just need the DNA test to happen and that will prove it one way or another.

Mr Mowat said the Ministry of Defence should routinely hold DNA samples for use in similar circumstances, as happens in other countries, such as the United States.

An MOD spokesperson said: "There are complicated legal issues affecting this case. We remain in close contact with Miss Hickman and have advised her on how she can take her case forward."

In a statement released earlier this year, the MOD released a statement portraying Pte Wade as a 'family man, who was�devoted to his fiancee Emma, with whom he is expecting a baby girl called Lexie'.

Last week, Ms Hickman and Lexie-Mai attended a homecoming parade of Pte Wade's colleagues in the Corunna Company of the 3rd Battallion. They stood among hundreds of well-wishers, and wore pink hooded tops emblazoned with a photograph of the fallen soldier.

According to the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency, the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme offers eligible children of soldiers whose deaths originated from service a child allowance. These payments are handed out until the child reaches 16 while they continue in full-time education.


Edited by mfsg - 13 Sep 2014 at 11:11am
Back to Top
Elaine View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group

Joined: 01 Dec 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 3782
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Elaine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jul 2012 at 10:47am
Ex-girlfriend of soldier killed by Taliban blast in row with his father over �65,000 payout
PUBLISHED: 22:39, 28 July 2012 | UPDATED: 00:19, 29 July 2012

The grieving father of a soldier killed in Afghanistan is embroiled in a bitter row over tens of thousands of pounds of compensation awarded to his son's former girlfriend.
Ian Sadler, whose son Jack died in a bomb blast in 2007, has asked police to investigate after Pippa Nicklin was granted a £64,443 tax-free lump sum and £1,000 a month under a scheme to support soldiers' dependants.
The Ministry of Defence ruled she was entitled to the money because she and Jack, a 21-year-old Lance Corporal in the Honourable Artillery Company, planned to marry. However, Ian Sadler is adamant that the seriousness of the couple's relationship has been exaggerated.

Pippa Nicklin, left, was granted a £64,443 tax-free lump sum when her partner Jack Sadler died
He has now urged her to pay back the money and asked Devon and Cornwall Police to examine what he describes as 'misleading' documents that were submitted as evidence to the MoD that the couple had operated a joint bank account.
L/Cpl Sadler met Pippa in 2004 when they were both students on a War Studies course at King's College London. They started dating in April 2005 and for the second and third years of their degree they lived with other students at a rented house in Kennington, South London.
In 2005, Jack Sadler joined the Honourable Artillery Company, a reservist unit based in the City of London, and after two years' training he was deployed to Afghanistan. He died when his open-top Land Rover struck a Taliban bomb in Helmand province.
Pippa's application for compensation was approved by the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA), a branch of the MoD that supports soldiers and their families.
Mr Sadler, 62, said the agency had accepted that Pippa was his son's 'substantive partner' even though Jack had made no provision for her in his will or named her as a beneficiary of his life-insurance policy, and there was no evidence to suggest he supported her financially.

Police complaint: Ian Sadler had urged Miss Nicklin to pay back the money she was given
In contrast, she provided documents, including gas and water bills and what was described as a joint bank account, to suggest the couple were close.
In a letter to the SPVA she said she and L/Cpl Sadler were a 'modern young couple' who 'planned to marry and have children in future'.
But divorced Mr Sadler, a former Royal Engineer from Exmouth, Devon, said the bank account was shared by other students in the Kennington house as a means of paying bills and, in the event, was never used.
In an email to Ian Sadler, John Lodge, one of four people who shared the house and who is now an officer in 9 Squadron, Royal Engineers, said: 'They were boyfriend and girlfriend and were clearly very close but they did not share financial matters.'
Mr Sadler and friends of his son also dispute the claim that the couple planned to marry, alleging that soon after L/Cpl Sadler's death, Pippa began a relationship with another soldier, Andrew Nicklin, to whom she is now married.
In a letter submitted as an appeal against the award and seen by The Mail on Sunday, Lieutenant Tom Stack, an Apache helicopter pilot with the Army Air Corps, said L/Cpl Sadler discussed breaking up with Pippa 'on more than one occasion'.
He went on: 'To reinforce my belief that Pippa was not committed to a future with Jack I will bring your attention to the speed in which Pippa developed a relationship (within a month) with her now husband.'
Mr Sadler has since been given a death benefit of £64,443 himself after a ruling by the Pensions Ombudsman overturned decisions by the SPVA, but he is still urging Mrs Nicklin to return the money she has been paid.
Mr Sadler, who wrote movingly in The Mail on Sunday about Jack's death, said: 'My son died because the Ministry of Defence cannot afford decent armoured vehicles yet the Government is writing huge cheques for my son's girlfriend from university. Jack and Pippa were going their separate ways.
'The payments are supposed to be for women with no other means to raise their children and pay their mortgages. By no stretch of the imagination did Pippa's relationship with my son fall into that category.'
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said last night: 'Several lines of inquiry are still being looked at to establish whether there is any evidence to support claims that a fraud may have been committed.'
The MoD said: 'Pippa Nicklin is fully entitled to the monies she has received from the MoD.'
Captain Nicklin and other members of Mrs Nicklin's family refused to comment.

Read more:

Edited by mfsg - 13 Sep 2014 at 11:06am
Back to Top
Elaine View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group

Joined: 01 Dec 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 3782
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Elaine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Dec 2011 at 9:02am
Unmarried couples should have inheritance rights, say law advisers
Unmarried couples who live together for five years will automatically take their partner's entire estate if they die without a will, under proposals from the Government's law advisers.

By Tom Whitehead, Home Affairs Editor7:00AM GMT 14 Dec 20115 Comments
And those with children will inherit all the assets if they were together for just two years.
The Law Commission wants to end rules dating back 86 years to give those in cohabiting relationships the same rights as married couples when one partner dies and hasn't left a will.
The body said the recommendations reflect the growing prevalence and public acceptance of cohabitation.
However, the move will fuel concerns that the significance if traditional families is being weakened with expanding legal rights.

In September, the Government rejected a separate Law Commission report that recommended giving cohabiting couples more legal protections in the event that they split up.
Professor Elizabeth Cooke, the Law Commissioner leading the latest project, said: "It is important to have clear, modern and fair rules for dealing with the property of a person who has died.
"The recommendations we present today follow extensive research and consultation on how the law of inheritance should operate in the 21st century.
"They would benefit many thousands of people at one of the most difficult times of their lives.
"At the same time, they preserve one of our important freedoms, namely the right to choose to whom we leave property by will, subject to a limited range of potential family provision claims."
It is estimated that as many as 350,000 people die annually without making a will  known as intestate  some with vast fortunes.
Under laws dating back to 1925, an unmarried partner has no automatic right to their loved one's estate if they die.
They can go to court to claim the estate but there is no guarantee of success.
In contrast a married spouse in the same situation automatically inherits.
Under proposals unveiled today, the Law Commission recommends that couples who live together for at least five years should automatically take the estate if one dies.
If they have children still living at the home then the automatic inheritance comes if they were together for just two years.
The measures are part of a major review of inheritance law aimed at updating it for "modern families", the Commission said.

Edited by mfsg - 13 Sep 2014 at 11:05am
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

This page was generated in 0.242 seconds.