Sunday 2 October 2011

Changing a Will After Death

Article by
Sharon Brown
Unbeknown to many people, it is possible to ‘vary’ the contents of someone’s Will after they have passed away, provided the people who would have inherited are happy to sign a Deed of Variation (also called a Deed of Family Arrangement).

A Will sets out the final wishes of a person and many people mistakenly believe that this cannot be altered. However, a Deed of Variation can be used to ‘re-write’ certain parts of a person’s Will. The original purpose of these documents was to protect people’s dependents being unfairly deprived but they are now commonly used to reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax payable on an estate.
To be legally valid a Deed of Variation must be made within 2 years of the date the person died, be made in writing and be signed by everyone whose entitlement will be reduced. If the variation affects the entitlement of a child or unborn child then Court involvement is likely to be necessary.

If you have any questions or require further assistance please email Sharon Brown - or telephone 01992 422128 and ask to speak to a member of our private client team. Tel: 01992 422 128

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

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