Deed of Variation
Deed of Variation
Sometimes called an Instrument of Variation or a Deed of Family Arrangement.

This can be completed and delivered within 2 years of a person’s death.
It is used to create or vary the terms of a deceased person’s Will for various reasons but are generally used for Inheritance Tax (IHT) or Capital Gains Tax (CGT) purposes.
A Deed of Variation can only be used if:
• everyone adversely affected agrees
• there is no reciprocation – no one is compensated for what they give up.
• none of the assets are affected by a Gift With Reservation
• if the variation affects the rights of children or unborn children, Court approval will probably be needed.
Other good reasons to use a Deed of Variation are:
• To balance bequests e.g. a brother and sister might be given different percentages of the residue but would prefer if they inherited the same amount.
• To balance wealth e.g. a wealthy brother and a poorer sister being left the same share of the parents estate might agree to alter the percentages so that the poorer sister receives a larger share.
• Wealthy beneficiaries who have children of their own might want to divert their own
• inheritance directly to their children so that their own IHT liability is reduced.
We work very closely with Kings Court Trust, who are probate and estate administration specialists.
Our friendly and knowledgeable team will be pleased to offer you helpful advice and, should you need it, a free meeting to discuss your requirements. At the end of this meeting, we will provide you with a fixed fee quotation should you wish for us to deal with the Deed of Variation for you.
Our Legal Team will prepare all of the legal documentation required in order to vary the terms of the Will and re-direct the estate, as agreed by all parties. If this concerns minors, this will also involve setting up a Trust.
If someone has passed away and you think you may require a Deed of Variation, please call the Probate Advice Line* on 0845 409 1751 for further information.
Keep an up-to-date Will rather than rely on a DOV
Since the change in the IHT rules in October 2007, some people think that it is acceptable to write a basic pair of mirror wills and use a Deed of Variation upon death to bring the deceased’s estate in line with current legislation at the date of death.
This is NOT good practice as these Instruments of Variation might be banned by future legislation, so should not be relied upon.
It is always better to write a Will that best suits your personal and family situation and that is in line with current legislation. If your circumstances change or legislation is revised, it is always advisable to re-write your Will to make sure your estate is distributed according to your wishes.
For further information and advice or if you need to use a Deed of Variation please call 0845 409 1751 and we will be pleased to assist you.
If, after having read this, you would like to write your Will, then please click here.
*Probate Advice Line provided by Kings Court Trust Ltd
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