What is a deed of variation?
A deed of variation will allow beneficiaries of a Will to alter or rearrange the entitlement they are to receive. The reason for this may be that the circumstances have changed since the loved one passed away, or that the beneficiaries would like certain assets to be passed on to other relatives or close friends rather than to them. It is also sometimes the case that assets or money may be redirected to children or gifted to charity.
Variations of Wills can be requested by anyone who is a beneficiary of a Will in order to pass their inheritance to someone else, regardless of whether this person is already named in the Will. However, the changes can only be made if all beneficiaries agree and must be made within two years of the death of the deceased.
Do Will writers do deeds of variation?
The beneficiary of a Will can request a deed of variation, rather than it needing to be done by a Will writer. However, a deed of variation has to meet specific criteria in order to be considered, so it’s often worth taking expert legal advice to ensure that the application has the best possible chances of being accepted.
Who signs a deed of variation?
A deed of variation should be signed by all executors and beneficiaries of the Will (that are aged over 18 years and of full capacity to make decisions of this nature) in order for the request to be considered. If there is no Will in place when the loved one passes away, and the intestacy rules apply, you can still request a deed of variation, but all beneficiaries of the estate must agree to the changes and sign the request.
Is there a deed of variation template?
A deed of variation doesn’t require a specific form or template to be filled in but must meet the required criteria in order to be valid. In order to give a deed of variation the best chance of success, it is often prudent to take advice from expert Wills and probate solicitors before making your application. Stephensons can provide all the support and assistance needed for making a deed of variation to the Will or estate of a loved one. Get in touch today for more information about how we can help.
What does a deed of variation cost?
The cost of a deed of variation may vary somewhat, depending on the specific circumstances. A complex situation may require legal advice, which means that some professional costs will apply. However, deeds of variation can sometimes result in significant inheritance tax savings in the future. Contact Stephensons if you want to make a deed of variation and, once we understand the specifics of your situation, we will be able to provide an estimate of costs. Call us on 01616 966 229 or complete our online contact form if you have any questions.
The advice provided to non-face to face clients will be through electronic or written communication only e.g. by telephone and email. Stephensons Solicitors LLP assumes no responsibility for, and shall not be liable for, (a) verification of mental capacity or testamentary capacity (b) verification of any undue influence or duress involved (c) the execution of any documents.