Legal Services for Armed Forces Personnel

Our firm provides advice to Service Personnel and their families, whether home or abroad.

Aside from our legal experience we also have staff that currently have, or in the past had, family or partners in the armed forces.

We know the pressures military life can have on you both during service and after leaving the armed forces.

What we do:

  1. House purchase and sales (including Long Service Advance of Pay)
  2. Family, separation and children matters
  3. Military Wills, Probate and listing Power of Attorney
  4. Personal Injury
  5. Civil disputes and litigation
  6. Employment law
  7. Business start-ups and commercial matters (including use of Resettlement Grants)

House Purchase and Sales

Our conveyancing department has an excellent reputation. If you are now looking to purchase a property and leave forces accommodation we can assist. You may be able to get an interest free loan of £8500 by way of a Long Service Advance Pay (see below) to assist.

For further details of how we can help click here.

Long Service of Advance Pay for Armed Forces

To assist service personnel to own a house the MOD has set up the Long Service Advance of Pay (LSAP) Scheme to help. If you are looking to get on the property ladder, a loan from this Scheme can help you purchase your own home.

Eligible personnel can receive an interest free loan of up to £8,500 which can be put towards buying a house, perhaps as the deposit (see further below).

Buying a house is a complex process and we can assist with this to ensure a speedy and smooth purchase. Click here for more information. 

FAQ’S about the Long Service Advance Of Pay

Q. How much can I receive?

A. Depending on your personal circumstances you can receive up to £8500 or 182 days pay (whichever is the lower amount)

Q. How much interest will I have to pay?

A. Nothing the loan is interest free

Q. How is the loan paid back?

A. The loan is paid back over 10 years, normally at 10% per year.

Q. How do I know if I’m eligible for an LSAP?

A. Applicants must:

  • have 4 year’s service (Army & RAF) or the trained strength of the Royal Navy or Royal Marines.
  • be currently serving with 3 months or more to discharge
  • medically fit
  • not have given notice or applied for premature voluntary release, unless the individual has qualified for a terminal grant which is greater than the LSAP and from which the loan can be repaid
  • not have drawn any terminal benefits
  • not have been warned for discharge

Q. Can I buy any property?

A. No, the property to be purchased must:

  • be a residential property in UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Republic of Ireland (for those recruited in the Republic or of Southern Irish parentage)
  • be mortgageable (even if no mortgage is needed)
  • be the only property to be owned by the applicant
  • not be a business property (even if it includes living accommodation)
  • not be a mobile home, a houseboat or a caravan

Q. What about tax?

A. A loan of more that £5000 will attract a tax liability because the Inland Revenue will regard it a beneficial loan.

Please contact Paul Keogh for more information on buying a home.

Family Law for Armed Forces

The strains of military life can have an impact on family life and the breakdown of a relationship whether within or outside of a marriage can be a stressful and traumatic experience.

Timely advice from us (whether at home or abroad) is vital.

We also have specialised knowledge of armed forces (eg. Queen’s Regulations, DCI’s AGAIS) and their effect on financial matters such as:

(i) Child Maintenance;
(ii) the Child Support Agency;
(iii) lump sum and transfer of property applications;
(iv) claims for possession of married quarters;
(v) gratuities/resettlement grants;
(vi) pensions especially with regard to the complex area of pension sharing of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme.

Children’s issues of residence (custody) and contact (access) or applications for permission to temporarily or permanently remove a child from the UK, need to be resolved quickly and we can assist with this.

For more information see Matrimonial and Family Law or contact Deborah Prance on dp@wheelerslaw.co.uk (Ash Vale) or Paul Linsdell on pl@wheelerslaw.co.uk (Farnborough).

Wills and Probate for Armed Forces

Wills in active service

“Military” Wills have their benefits. However, they have their limitations including the fact they only apply when you are on “active duty” meaning they have no validity when you are between operations. Furthermore, poorly drafted Wills can sometimes cause more problems than not having a Will at all.

Whilst your assets are yours to currently do with as you please, in death, a Will determines where your assets will go.

Failure to create a Will

Sadly this can mean people who you would like to benefit from your assets may not. This can cause hardship and bickering amongst your family.

Did you know if you are married, are in a civil partnership or co-habit, your assets will not automatically all go to your spouse/partner? Without a Will, your assets automatically also go to your blood relatives in different proportions.

Make a Will to:

  • explain your wishes regarding your funeral;
  • have someone carry out your wishes after your death;
  • appoint a Guardian for your children (if necessary);
  • make provisions for your family that you have chosen.

Powers of Attorney

Without a Lasting Power of Attorney your affairs could well end up under the supervisions of the Court of Protection with all the administrative burden and not insignificant cost that that involves. A Lasting Power of Attorney lets you appoint someone you trust to avoid this if you lose mental or physical capacity.

For more information see Wills, Tax, Trust & Probate or contact Jonathan JacobsTsyrina Tan or Karin Cox-Putker 

Litigation for Armed Forces

Whether it is repayments of debts or damage caused to your home or property, civilian matters can impact on service personnel. We can provide advice on all these matters. Please see Disputes and litigation.

We can advise on your chances of success and the situation of costs and whether we can recommend a different more cost effective choice.

Personal Injury to Armed Forces

Sadly despite your trust in the MOD, sometimes mistakes or injuries occur. We can assist you in helping rebuild your life. See here for more information.