Beneficiaries who wish to alter or re-arrange a deceased person's affairs for various reasons require a Deed of Variation. IWC are specialists in Estate Administration, Probate, Intestacy and Will writing. We can offer you expert advice on inheritance tax and draw up the documents you need.
Free advice - by phone or in person at a no-obligation appointment to discuss Deed of Variation probate issues
Nationwide Coverage - across the whole of England
Fixed fees - low cost, fixed fees, from £95 plus VAT
Fully Qualified - Deeds of Variation are drawn-up by a full STEP member or Law degree qualified personnel
Regulated - by the Society of Will Writers & Estate Planning Practitioners and fully insured.
If you'd like to talk to somebody about your requirements, you can call us free on 0800 612 6105 or on 020 8150 2010 from your mobile.Lines are open until 10pm, 7 days a week.
What is a Deed of Variation?
A Deed of Variation, also known as an instrument of variation or family arrangement is a document that estate administrators or executors can prepare and sign to alter the distribution of an estate, mostly to mitigate tax. There are generally two types; one to alter Intestacy and another to alter a persons Will.
A deed can only be drawn up providing:
Everyone affected agrees (If the variation affects the rights of children or unborn children, Court approval is required).
No-one is compensated for what they give up
None of the assets are affected by a Gift with Reservation
If all the Problems can be resolved after my Death Why Should I Make a Will?
The answer is quite simple, it costs a lot more to create a deed of variation than to create a will. There are other more important reasons too, if your estate was to pass under intestacy and there was a need to create a deed of variation, this could not be done if you had children under the age of 18. The children would become beneficiaries and if under the age of 18, they are not permitted to consent to a deed. It cannot be formed without the approval of all beneficiaries, thus, complicating the matter even further.
If you died intestate (without a will) your estate has to be distributed under the Rules of Intestacy. According to the Rules of Intestacy; if there is a surviving married or civil partner and the person who died has children, then the estate will be divided between the children and the surviving partner. This could mean that your spouse would be restricted in the amount of inheritance that they could receive. Often this causes hardship so a Deed of Variation of Intestacy could be created to alter the amount the spouse would receive.
Unmarried partners do not have the right to inherit under the Rules on Intestacy. Therefore, your partner may not have any right to your estate, so similarly one could be created by beneficiaries to ensure that your partner was provided for.
If your estate was above the nil rate band (£325k April 2009) and your spouse could only inherit the first £250k as per the Rules of Intestacy, your death would create an immediate inheritance tax bill of 40% of everything about £325k. If everything passes to your spouse then there is no inheritance tax to pay between spouses so one could be created to alter intestacy and thus mitigate the tax bill.
Deed of Variation to a Will
There are many reasons why it may be desirable to amend the will of a deceased person. You may wish to balance differences in the finances of the beneficiaries. Perhaps a wealthier sibling may wish to increase the inheritance of a poorer sibling. It may be preferable to pass the inheritance on to the next generation rather than swelling the estates (which will be taxable) of wealthy parents to struggling grandchildren. In either case one to a will need to be drawn up.
It is sometimes the case that people die without having made any tax planning provision for their family. The distribution of a deceased person's assets can be altered to avoid paying extra inheritance tax. They can be drawn up so the estate passes on in the most Inheritance Tax efficient way and to minimise Capital Gains Tax (CGT) liability.
These tax issues can be daunting; make sure you receive expert advice, call an advisor Freephone on 0800 612 6105 - lines open every day until 10pm.