About Deed of Variation
What a Deed of Variation is
A person’s Will or intestacy details how they wish their assets to be distributed to their loved ones after they have passed away. However, sometimes there are circumstances where loved ones want to make changes to the Will after the person has died, and it is possible to do so with a Deed of Variation.
We can help you if you are a beneficiary of a loved one’s Will and would like to redirect assets given to you to someone else. We understand that this can be a sensitive and complicated topic, which is why we’re here to help.
Changes to your loved one’s Will or intestacy can only be made as long as all beneficiaries and Executors of the Will agree on the changes and document this in writing. Any changes can also only be made for the first two years after your loved one passed away.
If your loved one passed on without a Will
A Deed of Variation can also be used if your loved one passed without a Will and their estate falls under the rules of intestacy. It might be necessary to request that relatives of the person who passed away use a Deed of Variation if you are the unmarried partner or stepchild of the person, for example, because the rules of intestacy will not apply to you.
There are many reasons why you might want to apply for a Deed of Variation, and whatever they are, we are here to help you.
We understand that it can be a very delicate subject, and if family or friends are not happy with how they were treated in your loved one’s Will they will likely be upset, angry and/or confused. However, you don’t have to worry because our solicitors will take the time to get to know your situation and work with you every step of the way.
Changing a Will after death
If you want to make changes to a loved one’s Will after their death but are unsure if you would be able to, we can help you. We know that it can be a difficult subject to approach, which is why we’ll be beside you the whole way.
There are certain requirements that allow changes to be made to a Will after someone has passed away, including:
- You are a beneficiary or an Executor of the Will,
- You have the written and signed permission from all other beneficiaries and Executors to submit a Deed of Variation,
- Your loved one passed in the past two years, and
- You have a genuine reason for wanting to make the changes
There are multiple genuine reasons why you, as an executor and/or beneficiary might want to make changes to a loved one’s Will. One of the beneficiaries may have been left a smaller percentage of the assets than another for example with no explanation. Or, perhaps more grandchildren have been born since you loved one last updated their Will, so you wish to alter the Will to include them. Maybe it is the best thing for your family to do to avoid paying a large amount of Inheritance Tax.
We understand that it can be tricky to propose changes to a Will, because not everyone will always see the situation from your perspective. That’s why we’re here to support you, and help you approach your circumstance in the fairest and most diplomatic way possible.
Deed of Variation after Probate
Our Probate solicitors are here to assist you with your Deed of Variation application whether you have applied for probate or not. We know that it can seem overwhelming, which is why we’re here to support you and answer any questions you have.
Probate is the legal process of valuing and distributing a person’s estate after they have passed away. It is possible to prepare a Deed of Variation before probate is applied for, or afterwards.
However, the Deed of Variation must be prepared within two years of your loved one’s date of death and Probate can take a while, especially if their estate is particularly large or complex.
This is why you should seek guidance sooner rather than later if you are a beneficiary or Executor of a loved one’s Will and are considering submitting a Deed of Variation to make changes.
If you need help, we’re here for you. We know that the Probate process itself is daunting, and if you wish to make changes to a loved one’s Will this can make the situation much more complex. However, you don’t need to worry. With our expert support and guidance applying for Probate and a Deed of Variation couldn’t seem simpler.
As well as it being possible for assets such as money, property and possessions to be redirected to people, they can also be redirected into a Trust fund using a Deed of Variation.
Our Trusts solicitors have the knowledge and expertise to help you redirect a loved one’s assets into a trust after they have passed away. We can help you establish what type of trust suits you, and support you throughout the process of setting it up.
Transferring assets into a Trust can help if you want to avoid a large increase in the Inheritance Tax you will suffer if you still own the assets when you pass away. It can also provide a secure way to put away the assets for your children, or others who might benefit from them at a later date.
We can help you prepare a Deed of Variation and set up a Trust fund if you want to redirect, manage and protect the assets you have inherited from your loved one. We’ll be by your side to answer any questions you may have and give you the support you need, when you need it.
Our Deed of Variation and Wills services
Here at AWH we can help you if you wish to prepare a Deed of Variation to make changes to a loved one’s Will or intestacy. We always approach family matters with sensitivity and delicacy, and have experience in helping families carry out changes to Wills so as to benefit everyone in the best way possible.
In addition to offering Deed of Variation services, we can also help you with probate processes and setting up trust funds. Our Trusts, Wills and Probate solicitors know their specialism inside out, and always strive to achieve the best result for our clients.
However you need our help, we’ll be on hand to give you only the best support, guidance and advice, ensuring that the process is as stress-free as can be.
- What is a Deed of Variation?
A Deed of Variation is a document with which a person or people who have been left inheritance in a loved one's Will in the form of money, possessions or property, can redirect the assets to another person or people.
This can only happen if all beneficiaries and Executors of the Will agree to the Deed of Variation and confirm their agreement in writing.
- Who signs a Deed of Variation?
All beneficiaries of the Will i.e. anyone who has been left possessions, land, property or money by the person who has passed away must sign the Deed of Variation if changes need to be made to the person's Will after they die. All Executors of the Will must also sign the Deed.
If there was no Will left by the person, then the person appointed as the Administrator must sign the Deed if they want to make changes to the way the deceased's assets will be distributed. The beneficiaries must also sign the Deed if there is no Will.
- Can a Deed of Variation be revoked?
Once a Deed of Variation is signed by all Executors or the Administrator, and by all beneficiaries it is extremely rare that it would be able to be revoked. Revocation could only occur if you can prove that there has been a mistake, for example if one beneficiary has been missed and hasn't signed the Deed.
- Can an Executor change a Will?
Yes, an Executor can change a Will, but only if they have the permission to do so from all other Executors and beneficiaries who have been listed in the Will. The permission needs to be given in writing with a signature.
Starting the process couldn’t be more simple!
- Contact us Get in touch however suits you best and arrange a consulation with one of our solicitors
- Meet an expert You’ll meet the expert solicitor assigned to your case and discuss all the necessary details
- Authorise Once we’ve got all the details of your case and you’re happy to proceed, just give us the go-ahead
- We get to work It’s time for us to get to work! We’ll set up your file on our system and get to work right away
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