Deeds of Variation Solicitors, York, Wetherby & Malton
After someone dies, arrangements need to be made to wind up their affairs.
This will involve paying off any debts they have, and sharing their estate – that is their money, property and possessions – amongst the beneficiaries who are entitled to inherit. In many cases, the person's Will details how this should be done. If they did not leave a Will, special legal rules called the Rules of Intestacy are followed to determine how their estate should be distributed.
There are cases, however, when beneficiaries may feel that changes should be made to how the deceased's estate is to be shared. In such circumstances, a deed of variation can be drawn up to reflect these changes. The specialist probate solicitors at Ware & Kay are on hand to provide guidance on satisfying the requirements for a deed of variation. Our friendly, approachable lawyers can offer straightforward, professional, sympathetic advice regarding the options available to you and your fellow beneficiaries.
When might a deed of variation be used?
There are many reasons why beneficiaries might think it necessary to use a deed of variation to make changes to the distribution of an estate. These reasons may include:
- Making the distribution of the estate between the beneficiaries more equal
- Ensuring that someone not included in the Will receives a share of the estate – for example, a grandchild who was not born at the time the Will was made
- Clearing up uncertainty in the Will
- Reducing liability for inheritance tax – for example, making changes to include a charity in the Will can reduce the amount of inheritance tax that will require to be paid on the estate
The Rules of Intestacy are a standard set of rules that are used to determine who should share someone's estate if they did not leave a Will. They provide a list of beneficiaries who are entitled to inherit, primarily restricted to close family members. This can mean that other people to whom the deceased was close to will not share in their estate. A deed of variation can be used to correct this, ensuring that others, for example, a partner or step-child will be provided for.
When should a deed of variation be drawn up?
You can use a deed of variation to make changes to a Will before or after probate has been obtained. However, there are time restrictions on when this can be done. Any changes must be made within two years of the person's death. It is also important to note that, for a deed of variation to be valid, it must be signed by all of the executors and beneficiaries of the estate.
Contact our Deeds of Variation Solicitors in Yorkshire
Ware & Kay's experienced probate lawyers are available to discuss with you the benefits of drafting a deed of variation, as well as the terms that need to be in place before the document can be drawn up.