privileged will

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A will that is valid even though it does not comply with the formal requirements of the Wills Act 1837 (e.g. in being written but not witnessed or in being oral) or is made by a minor. The right to make a privileged will is conferred by the 1837 Act (as extended by the Wills (Soldiers and Sailors) Act 1918) on any soldier in actual military service (a soldier's will or military testament) and any mariner or seaman at sea (a mariner's will). It also applies to airmen on actual military service and, on normal principles of statutory interpretation, to females as well as to males (for example, a female secretary aboard an ocean liner has been held to be a mariner at sea). Actual military service has been very widely interpreted. It is not confined to service as a combatant during time of war, but extends to service in any other capacity (e.g. as an auxiliary or a trainee) and to service when war is merely imminent. Service with an occupying force after a war is also included, as is service in support of the civil power against terrorists. At sea has received a similarly wide interpretation. A member of the naval forces is treated as being at sea if he is in an equivalent position to a soldier or airman on actual military service (e.g. if he is on shore leave during wartime).

Subjects: Law.

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