Cheers for Reading: Five questions I’m regularly asked in my role.

7 October 2020

By Sarah Cheers, Paralegal, Wills, Trusts & Estates Team

Hi, I am Sarah Cheers. I joined Cullimore Dutton’s Wills, Trusts & Estates department in April of this year, and I am sharing this series of brief insights into my time as a paralegal.

In this post, I answer the five questions I am most regularly asked in my role.

What happens if I don’t have a Will?
If you die without a valid Will in England and Wales it means you have died intestate. The law then decides who will receive your property and personal effects and who is responsible for administering the process. This person may not be the person you would have chosen to oversee or benefit from your estate. Importantly, the intestacy rules make no provision for unmarried couples. Having a legally binding Will is one of the most important documents you can put in place to protect your family, assets and your wishes.

Can you be an Executor and Beneficiary of someone’s Will?
When making a Will people often ask whether an executor can also be a beneficiary. The answer is YES. It is perfectly acceptable for example to have a spouse be both the executor and the beneficiary. When writing a Will we will advise on who is best placed to act as your executors. 

Why are will writers cheaper than Solicitors?
We often get asked why Solicitors are more expensive than Will writers? The main reason for this is that many Will writers are not legally qualified, as such you may not have the same protections in place should something go wrong or should the Will be contested. All solicitors are regulated, this requires that the highest standards are adhered to. When we supply a quote for your Will you can be sure that there are no hidden extras. In addition, we are also able to store your Will securely, free of charge on site at our Chester City Centre offices. 

Why do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney? I still have mental capacity
Some people think that if they still have capacity, they don’t need a Lasting Power of Attorney as they can manage their own finances and welfare.

However, you can only make a Lasting Power of Attorney whilst you have full mental capacity. If you lose capacity and don’t have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, an application will need to be made to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order. At this point you cannot control who makes this application. This is a much longer and much more expensive route.

Lasting Powers of Attorney for Property and Affairs can assist you in all sorts of situations and not just if you lose capacity. For example, if you were in hospital for a short period of time and needed bills paying, then your Attorneys could do this for you. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are giving up control as the LPA can be enacted for a short period. Lasting Powers of Attorney are such an important document to have in place.

Will my Lasting Power of Attorney still work after I have passed away?
I get asked this question a lot, the answer is no, this document is only valid during your lifetime. Upon death either a Will or the rules of intestacy come into effect.

Until next time…

Cheers, Sarah

Get in touch with Cullimore Dutton Solicitors on 01244 356 789 or email

Please note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.