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Deed of Variation

Sometimes it is necessary to change a will after death. In order to do so, a deed of variation must be entered into. Even if there is no will, it is possible to change the beneficiaries (or the bequests) – in fact, creating a deed of variation for an intestacy estates happens more often than in any other circumstance, since the intestacy rules tend to be very rigid and don’t take inheritance tax into account.

There are a number of reasons that you may wish to change a will after death. It might be in order to save on tax (inheritance tax or capital gains tax, for example). It could be because there is someone who you feel should inherit, but who is not mentioned in the will (or who doesn’t appear to be receiving a fair amount). It may be because there is an error in the will. It could even be that, since the will was written, the people mentioned in it have died themselves, or perhaps are no longer part of the family due to divorce… There are many variations, and it is best to speak to an expert about whether your reason for changing the will is a valid one.

Deed of Variation

Deed of variation used to change a will after death

Who can create a Deed of Variation

The deed of variation can be created or signed by any affected beneficiary. It is not necessary to get permission from every beneficiary. For example supposing a Will leaves the entire estate to Person A & Person B, but person A does not need the money. In fact Person A might have their own wealth and they are concerned that additional money into their own estate would create additional inheritance tax issues. By entering into a Deed of Variation Person A could divert the money they were entitled to their own children.  Person B would not need to be involved in the Deed of Variation. If Person A were to pass away within seven years of giving this money away the Executors of their estate would not need to declare the gift of money given away via the Deed of Variation. This is because by entering the deed of variation any money they were due to inherit did not hit their estate.

Changing a Will after Death

If a will is to be changed after death, then it must be done within the first two years, and any inheritance tax or capital gains tax must be dealt with. Not only this, but anyone that a change of the will will affect must agree to the changes without being coerced or receiving any financial compensation.

In the circumstance described, then a deed of variation may well be required. Call us on 020 8150 2010 for more information.


Deed of Variation
User Rating
5 based on 1 votes
Service Type
Deed of Variation
Provider Name
IWC Probate & Will Services,
IWC, Suite 3, 9-13 Bocking End,Braintree,Essex-CO6 1PX,
Telephone No.020 8150 2010
Family Law
Deed of Variation is used to either change a person will after they have died or to alter any distribution under the rules of intestacy. If a Deed of Variation is entered into for tax purposes it must be executed within two years of death. A Deed of Variation signed after this time would still be relevant and is sometimes used for settling disputes. But there is no tax advantages after the two year deadline.

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