Inheritance Tax Part 3

Deeds of Variation

It is possible, following a person's death, for the beneficiaries of the estate to vary their entitlement. In other words. agree to “rewrite “ the Will. This can be done up to two years after the death.

Until a few years ago the most common reason for doing this was to save Inheritance Tax but changes in the law made that unnecessary for most people.

However there are still some occasions when it helps to rewrite the will. Examples

If everything has been left to an elderly widow or widower who may need to go into a Care Home. Rewriting the will might save the family home from being swallowed up in care fees.

If a gift has been left to a child who has a divorce pending or money troubles it might help protect that gift if it is changed

If a child is incapable of managing their affairs because of ill health or addiction.

To rewrite a Will all those involved must be over the age of eighteen and have satisfied all conditions (if any) imposed on the gift to them. It can be difficult to carry out a Deed of Variation where assets are left in trust.

You cannot always rely on beneficiaries agreeing to carry out a variation following death. Conversely, if there is any concern that beneficiaries could carry out a variation and you wish to prevent them doing so, this could be done by careful Will drafting.

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