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Deed of Variation

| Duncan & Toplis | 6 October 2020

Assisting families through what can be a very difficult time, particularly when a Will isn’t clear or if a member of the family hasn’t been accounted for, is something our experts have years of experience in.

In these circumstances, we can help you create a Deed of Variation, which can be prepared before or after the Grant of Probate has been obtained. This must be within two years of the date of death of the deceased.

What does a Deed of Variation do?

After someone dies, their affairs and possessions - including property, money and any other items - must be distributed to those that are entitled to inherit, also known as Beneficiaries.

A Will is usually clear as to the deceased’s intentions about how their Estate should be distributed, however, there may be circumstances where the Beneficiaries of the Will may wish to change this:

  • Making distribution equal between all Beneficiaries.
  • Creating more certainty where a Will is unclear.
  • Providing for someone to whom the Rules of Intestacy don’t apply, such as a stepchild or partner.
  • Inheritance Tax planning.
  • Providing for someone who was not included in the Will, such as a child or grandchild that wasn’t born at the time the Will was created.

How does a Deed of Variation work?

A Deed of Variation is often used by a Beneficiary who wishes to change or redirect their inheritance. Inheritance can be directed to anyone the Beneficiary wishes and isn’t dependent on whether this person has been included in the Will or is recognised under the Rules of Intestacy. 

However, if a Deed of Variation impacts someone under the age of 18, then it is not possible to fulfil the change as minors cannot legally agree to a Deed of Variation.

Should you wish to create a Deed of Variation, our legal team has years of experience and training to ensure the best possible outcome. If you’re unsure about how to go about using a Deed of Variation, speak with our specialists today.


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