News that the Jersey Contingent is now at the front means there are 300 more Islanders in the firing line. Before going into the trenches, the men would have made a last will and testament. Unfortunately, as was pointed out in the States this week, these army wills are not considered legal in Jersey.
The Attorney General has been corresponding with the Army Council over the matter of servicemen’s wills. The problem, he told the States, is that whereas in the UK a will made on any scrap of paper may be considered binding, it would not be held as legal in Jersey. The Island’s law covering matters such as inheritance requires that wills are made and witnessed locally. This means that those made by men serving outside of Jersey are not legal and therefore not binding.
Recognising the need for wartime expediency, the States considered a new law proposing to allow men from Jersey to make a will while serving outside the Island. Members deferred the matter however. While there was broad support for the principle, it was felt that a special committee was needed to consider all the implications.
Associated Record: D/Z/H5/6 contains correspondence about Rifleman PF Bonny of the Jersey Contingent who made his will on 2 January 1916.