Surge in wills may lead to more unexpected executors

Co-op Legal Services has urged people putting wills in place during the COVID-19 pandemic to speak to their chosen executors, to avoid confusion later down the line.

The group reported that will enquiries surged by over two-thirds (69%) from 23 March, the day the UK went into lockdown, until the end of June – compared to the three-month period prior.

Co-op suggested this was partially connected to people having more time on their hands whilst abiding to government measures.

However, Co-op research among 2,000 adults in the UK since lockdown measures have eased shows that despite the increase in will enquiries, three quarters (74%) of UK adults still haven’t had conversations with loved ones about their wishes, while just 29% weren’t aware of the responsibilities of being an executor.

Co-op head of wills, James Antoniou, commented: “Whilst it’s encouraging that so many people have used the lockdown period to put wills in place, it’s important to ensure the right conversations have taken place with their chosen executors to check they’re happy to take on the role and that they understand the responsibility and what’s expected of them.

“Most UK adults want to depend on friends and family to take up the role of executor, so it’s vital that people understand their options and that the role is properly explained.”

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