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Find a Soldier’s Will
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The UK Government Find a Soldier’s Will facility allows you to search online for the wills of soldiers who died between 1850 and 1986.
You need both the name of the soldier and the year they died to search for a will. This matches the way information is stored in the archives. If you do not know the exact year of death, enter the approximate year, and then use the ‘previous’ and ‘next’ links to search the years before and after that.
If you have more information, for example, the soldier’s first name, service number, and the exact date of their death, then you can use this to narrow your search. Use the ‘advanced search’ option to enter these details.
Each will costs £10 to download (the £10 charge is required by law for the release of public documents). You can pay online using a debit or credit card.
If you are unable to pay with a credit or debit card, then you can download form PA1S from https://www.gov.uk/wills-
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You won’t be able to access the will straight after ordering it. You’ll get an email when it is ready to download, and this should happen within 10 days. You will then be able to log in and save it to your computer. After you have logged in, it will be available for 31 days, so make sure that you save it before then.
If you have ordered more than one will, then they may be ready to download at different times. You’ll get an email when each one is ready.
Some of the wills are quite old so may not be in very good condition. The scanned copy of the will that you receive will be the best quality available.
You can only see the last will that the serviceman made, as this is the only one that is ‘proved’ (valid), even if they made more than one will during their lifetime.
You won’t be able to see any grants, or any details about the estate that was left (for example, how much money was left).
In some cases, no formal will was left. In these cases you will have access to letters or other records relating to the serviceman’s estate.