Q: I have only one executor named on my Will, but the coronavirus pandemic has made me think I should add another just in case something happens to her. How can I go about doing that, especially when so many businesses are currently still in lockdown?
A: COVID-19 has made a lot of people think again about the way they have arranged their affairs. In some cases, it has instigated the making of a Will for the first time. Regarding executors, it is always preferable to have more than one, but you must decide how you want them to act. Executors can be appointed to act either solely or jointly. You can also appoint one to act alone and then name a second person to act as substitute executor if the first executor is for some reason unable to act when the time comes.
An important factor when appointing executors is to consider whether they may be in conflict if they are appointed to work jointly. Appointing people who already know each other and get on well together could be one way of avoiding conflict. It is worth remembering that a beneficiary can also be an executor.
In terms of how to go about adding another executor to your existing Will during the coronavirus crisis, you could simply prepare a short codicil. It is however essential that the wording is correct, so to be absolutely certain that it is legally valid it would be advisable to have it prepared by a solicitor. It may also be wise to check whether your current Will needs updating in any way, for example have any of your beneficiaries died or have your assets changed since you made the Will?
Whilst many solicitors’ office doors may appear to be closed at the moment, work is still continuing by telephone and zoom calls and also in person by appointment if that is necessary.
This question has been answered by Jessica Wright a Solicitor with GHP Legal. If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients. In accordance with government guidelines, most of our lawyers are currently working remotely which means you may not now receive a response as promptly as you may expect. Please kindly bear with us and we will respond as soon as we are able.
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