Deeds of Variation

It is possible to change a person’s Will or how their estate passes after they have died if they have not made a Will. Some common reasons for varying someone’s estate include:

  • The Will may not have been updated for many years and may not reflect the deceased persons most recent wishes when they died e.g. it may not include some beneficiaries the deceased may have wanted to benefit;
  • It can save tax in the estate by giving assets to a beneficiary who is exempt from tax, e.g. a spouse or a charity;
  • It can be used by a beneficiary to help with their tax or estate planning and may enable the family to put assets in a Trust.

It can be used if the deceased person hasn’t made a Will but there is a two year time limit to consider for the deed to be effective for tax.

The document needs the agreement of the beneficiary changing their entitlement although it is more difficult to vary an estate if the beneficiaries are under 18 or there are issues of capacity.

We have assisted a number of our clients to vary the terms of someone’s estate to either help them to make provision for their children and whilst doing so, to save inheritance tax, to resolve a dispute in the estate and enable beneficiaries to inherit assets when they may have missed out and to set up a Trust to protect assets for future generations.

We can advise you on the benefits of varying a deceased person’s estate and look at your family circumstances to help you plan for your future beneficiaries.

If you would like to find out more about Deeds of Variation, please speak to a member of our team.