Wills and Lasting Power of Attorney

Although a large majority of people in the United Kingdom do not have a valid will, the benefits of having such a document cannot be overstated. A valid will carries the assurance that a person’s estate will be divided between beneficiaries of its choice in the manner set out in the will.

For a free initial consultation please call 01753 592 000


The terms of the will override the so-called “rules of intestacy” which will apply in the absence of a valid will.

Fitz Solicitors write a lot of wills over the course of a year. After an initial meeting with a client to establish clearly its wishes regarding executors (who will be responsible for administering the estate), beneficiaries (who will benefit under the terms of the will) and guardians (where a beneficiary is a young child). We then produce an initial draft reflecting our understanding of our client’s wishes and request any changes the client may seek after reviewing the first draft document. Once the client is satisfied with the content we will prepare an engrossed version of the will and arrange for the client to sign and and to have witnessed.

We like to go through the whole process within a week to avoid unnecessary delay and to achieve a successful conclusion.


There are hundreds of reasons why a Will is important but the most important is simply this: a valid will is the only legal document which controls your assets upon your death.

Most people think a Will has to be a complex and lengthy document which contains obscure legal jargon but it doesn’t have to be like that. A Will can be as simple or as complex as you wish it to be.

Those couple of hours you spend having a Will drawn up can save your family and friends months spent in court rooms and thousands on legal fees should disputes arise.

Inheritance Tax liability can be reduced saving your family the money they deserve.

If you are a resident of England and Wales and you die without having left a valid Will, your estate will be dealt in accordance with the ‘Intestacy Rules’.

There are now more than 2.3 million unmarried couples in the UK. If you are unmarried, there is no automatic provision for your partner – no matter how long you have been together. A partner can make a claim for provision to the courts under specific circumstances however this can be extremely time consuming and vastly expensive.

If you do not have any immediate family, your whole estate will fall to the crown. Over 11,000 people who passed away recently without making a Will have had their estates fall to the crown.

Did you know that once you are married, any existing Wills will be cancelled? Conversely, if you get a divorce your Will remains in force.

We strongly advise updating your Will on any major life changes to ensure it fully reflects your wishes at that time. Failure to do so can leave everything you have ever worked for; falling into the hands of those you didn’t wish for it to do so.

Wills include:

  • Naming who you elect as your executors
  • Any burial wishes
  • Gifts
  • Residuary estate distributions
  • Contingency plans
  • Trusts
  • Guardianships

Call us today to arrange a free consultation to discuss your Will in more detail and enjoy the peace of mind knowing your loved ones will be looked after.

If you would like your children or beneficiaries to inherit contingent upon a certain event, i.e. reaching 21 years old, a trust can be put in place. Your trustees will have access to your residuary estate for the benefit of your beneficiaries until they obtain that contingency. This will provide you with the assurance of knowing your loved ones will be looked after until the time is right.

We can also advise on lifetime trusts and any tax liabilities you may incur.

We can assist in:

  • Creating trusts
  • Dealing with the administration of trusts
  • Advising on the trustees duties
  • Reviewing investments and preparing annual trust accounts
  • Liaising with financial advisors
  • Advising on tax liabilities
  • Distribution of trust income and capital
  • Bringing trusts to a close

Call us today to arrange a free consultation to see how we can help you.

If you have children under the age of 18 and pass away without a Will, the guardian of your children will be selected by the local authorities and the court. This can be very distressing for your children.

A guardianship clause will provide you with the power to appoint guardian(s) of your choice to look after your children if you were to pass away before them and they had not yet attained the age of 18. At an already very difficult time, this can provide certainty to your loved ones when they need it the most.

We all work hard to create a world that will provide for us and our loved ones. Unfortunately there may come a time in our lives where something unexpected happens, that may prevent us from continuing to do so.

Though it is not pleasant to consider, anything can happen in a day that would render us mentally incapable of making our own decisions; this can arise from a developing illness or a sudden accident.

Under normal circumstances your loved ones would be left to apply to the courts to manage your affairs if you were unable to do so. This procedure can be incredibly time consuming and expensive. At an already difficult time, this places a tremendous task on our loved ones to not only care for us but to manage our affairs also.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides a statutory framework which enables adults to make preparations for a time when they may lack capacity in the future by putting in place a ‘Lasting Power of Attorney’ (“LPA”).

The LPA is one of the biggest safety nets you can create in your lifetime.

An LPA comes in two forms:

  • Property and Financial Affairs

This is designed for you to appoint an attorney (or attorneys) to make a wide range of decisions on your behalf in relation to property or financial affairs. This can include buying or selling your house, dealing with tax issues, operating your bank accounts and claiming any benefits on your behalf

  • Health and Welfare

This is designed for you to appoint an attorney (or attorneys) to make a more narrow range of decisions on your behalf in relation to your welfare. This can include your living accommodation and care, consenting or refusing medical treatment in accordance with your wishes and other day to day matters.

A property and financial affairs LPA can be used either at your discretion (i.e. on your authority) or when you lack mental capacity. The health and welfare LPA can only be used once you lack mental capacity.


Your attorney must be over 18 and be someone that you trust to act in your best interests. If there is not a registered LPA and your loved ones are left to apply to the court, the court may appoint someone they deem appropriate – this may not necessarily the person you wish to have as your attorney.

You can appoint more than one attorney and can elect to have them act jointly or jointly and severally. If you elect for them to act jointly, all decisions must be made with the consent of both attorneys. If one attorney passes away, then neither attorney can act on their own. They are considered ‘one entity’. If you select joint and several, the attorneys can make decisions on their own without the consent of the other and if one passes away, the surviving attorney may still act. You can also elect to have some decisions be made jointly and others joint and several.

Replacement Attorney

Some people prefer to keep it simple and have just one attorney but are worried about that person pre-deceasing them. To avoid a situation where the LPA becomes invalid and a new one need to be registered, they appoint a replacement attorney to be appointed only in the circumstance where the original attorney is unable to act themselves for any reason. This provides extra security if you require.


The legislation has introduced a person known as the ‘certifier’. This person must be over 18 and be wholly independent of both the person making the LPA and the named attorneys. They must either know you well or be a professional person i.e. doctor, solicitor. They must sign a form to confirm that they have discussed the contents of the LPA and that they can confirm that you fully understand the purpose and scope of the LPA and that no undue pressure or fraud is involved.

Can I make specific restrictions?

An LPA can be as detailed or flexible as you prefer. You can insert limitations, preferences or extra instructions to ensure that your assets are managed exactly how you deem appropriate. For example ‘I prefer to invest in ethical funds’, ‘my attorneys must instruct a qualified tax accountant to prepare my annual tax return’ or ‘my attorneys must continue to donate to charities that I have supported or which I have set up standing order payments’.

For health and welfare LPA you may wish to insert preference and instructions such as ‘I prefer to live within 10 miles of my children’ or ‘I wish for my pets to live with me as long as possible and if I go into a care home, I would like to take them with me’.

The key advantage of an LPA is that it will give you peace of mind knowing you are prepared for the worst and will give you a voice when you may have lost yours.

Call us today to arrange a free consultation where we can discuss your LPA in more detail and find the best way to look after your future.

Let us call you back

If you require legal assistance and would like someone to call you to discuss the issue, complete your information in the online enquiry form here and one of our solicitors will be in touch with you to tell you how we can help.

Alternatively you can contact us on 01753 592 000

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