What are deeds of variation?

What are deeds of variation?

A deed of variation means that if a beneficiary would like to, they can choose to redirect what has been left to them in a Will to someone else. 

If you wish to change a person’s Will after their death, you will need a deed of variation to do so. The deed allows for the beneficiaries of the Will to make amendments or to rearrange their entitlement already set out in the Will. 

When someone writes a Will they do so with the best intentions and to make sure the people they care about most are well provided for. However, in some cases the beneficiaries may decide that certain possessions or assets would be better off with other relatives of friends of the deceased. 

Are there time restrictions on a deeds of variation? 

Any changes to the Will must be made within two years of the deceased’s death.

Varying a Will can be done either before or after a Grant of Probate is obtained. For these changes to be valid, the paperwork has to be signed by all executors and beneficiaries.

Reasons to change a Will 

A few reasons why you may want to change a Will after the passing of the deceased include: 

  • If the deceased left someone out of the Will. For example, they made provisions in their Will for the eldest grandchild, but then did not update their Will after more grandchildren were born.
  • If you wish to redistribute the estate so that it is more efficient for tax purposes.  
  • If you wish to even out inheritance for example if one child was left a lesser percentage than another. 
  • To clear up any uncertainty in the Will. 

How to make changes

We would advise seeking professional help in order to request a change to the Will. To do this, all executors and beneficiaries will need to be in agreement in order to move forward. 

What if there is no Will?

If there is no Will, the deceased’s money and possessions will be subject to the strict rules of intestacy. However, even though the estate will follow these rules, you are still able to make changes to the inheritance. 

For more information on our wills and lasting power of attorney services, please visit our pages here.

Or to make a 20-minute free initial consultation, call and speak to one of our specialist law team who will be happy to assist you further on  0800 614 722.