In some cases, it may be necessary to make changes to someone’s Will after they have died. Here at AWH, we can advise and assist throughout this process.
What is a Deed of Variation?
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 if you are a beneficiary of a loved one’s Will and would like to redirect assets that were left to you on to someone else. Changes to your relative’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 relative passed away without a Will
A Deed of Variation can also be used if your loved one passed away 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.
Changing a Will after Death
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 relative passed in the past two years, and
- You have a genuine reason for wanting to make the changes
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. 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 or after probate is applied for, but it must be prepared within two years of death and probate can sometimes take time, especially if their estate is particularly large or complex.
A Deed of Variation can also be used to redirect assets into a trust fund. Transferring assets into a trust can help if you want to avoid a large increase in the inheritance tax that 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 with any issues that you may find with applying for deed of variation and make the process as simple as possible.
- 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
What our clients are saying about us
Our Promise to You
Friendly, personal legal services
We promise that our approachable solicitors will provide you with a genuinely personal service that puts your needs first. Our team of experts are always on hand to give you support when you need it.
Award-winning service in our fields of expertise
We pride ourselves in offering the highest standards of service across each of our legal departments. Regardless of your situation, we promise to provide you with the very best legal advice.
Advice tailored to your needs
We promise to listen to your needs and offer the right guidance for your situation.
There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution in any area of the law. Every case requires a tailored approach and you deserve a solicitor who understands this.
Outstanding customer service and care
Our excellent reputation is built on our exceptional level of client care.
Every case is handled with the highest level of respect and many of our clients go on to recommend us after building an invaluable relationship with our solicitors.
Transparent fees and processes
Transparency is very important to us. We promise to provide you with total transparency on fees, so you know exactly what you are paying for. We’ll also make sure you’re kept updated on the progress of your case every step of the way.