Accident Claims & Fatal Injuries
Personal Injury Claims
Serious Injury Rehabilitation, Treatment and Support
Criminal Injury Claims
Court of Protection
Estate Planning and Wills
Inheritance Tax Planning
Business Succession Planning
Estate Administration and Probate
Divorce and Family Law
Separation, Divorce, Dissolution of Civil Partnership
Financial Considerations in Separation, Divorce and Dissolution of Civil Partnership
Prenuptial, Postnuptial and Cohabitation Agreements
Sorry, we couldn’t find any results... Please try a different search term.
There are several reasons why you may want to change the distribution of an estate
Deeds of Variation, Disclaimers and Appropriation can be used to redirect assets from a deceased person’s estate away from the initial beneficiary.
A Deed of Variation is a document whereby, after a death, a beneficiary can transfer their entitlement under a Will or Intestacy to someone else or to a trust.
There may be circumstances following a death, where the beneficiaries of a Will or those entitled to inherit under the rules of intestacy wish to change the way in which the estate is distributed because it does not suit their personal needs. The possibility of a variation means that any inheritance can be re-shaped to suit the specific needs and wishes of a beneficiary when the original Will did not. Often, Wills can be out of date or written in ignorance of a beneficiary’s personal circumstances. If a variation is created within two years of the death of the testator, the new arrangements can be treated as having been put in place by the testator for the purposes of inheritance and capital gains tax.
There are several reasons why you may want to change the distribution of an estate. These include (but are not limited to):
There are a number of ways to save time and money during Probate by using a Deed of Variation. Some beneficiaries will use this to redirect their inheritance directly to their children, so that the inheritance skips a generation and is only liable for inheritance tax on the children’s estate. The variation, if made within two years, will be treated as being made by the deceased as opposed to the person varying, and so there is no requirement for the gift to be survived by seven years for inheritance tax purposes as would be the case had the assets been accepted and then gifted by the parent.
A variation into trust can take the fund out of the 40% tax environment and save considerable tax going forward. Care needs to be taken to not prevent the application of the inheritance tax benefits of the main residence nil rate band, however.
Varying an estate to increase existing gifts to charity up to 10% of the estate could also reduce the applicable inheritance tax on the estate, by ensuring the 36% tax rate applies.
A Deed of Disclaimer is a document wherein a beneficiary disclaims or refuses to accept their inheritance, instead allowing the contingency provisions within the Will or Intestacy to come into effect. The disclaimer essentially allows the Personal Representatives to treat the beneficiary as having died before the testator.
This is often used to skip a generation, or where there is a moral principle held by the beneficiary, which means that they would prefer not to accept the gift.
A Deed of Appropriation is a document which deems a beneficiary to have received a part of the deceased’s estate at Probate value (irrespective of what the value is at the time). This is particularly useful where there has been a significant gain made after the death of the deceased which would, if not appropriated to a non or low-tax paying individual, have triggered a tax liability. It is common for appropriations to be used where there are charitable beneficiaries who are not liable for tax and for individuals who have full capital gains tax allowances and pay tax at a lower rate than the estate. Assets can be appropriated to a number of beneficiaries, so multiple annual allowances can be used to offset a capital gain.
This is a complex area of Estate Administration, and we would advise you to consult a lawyer who is an expert in this field. Please get in touch with our team by telephoning 03333 058375, or email WealthProtection@psg-law.co.uk.
Read our Wealth Protection FAQs
Partner, Head of Wealth Protection
Partner, Court of Protection & Wealth Protection
Senior Associate, Wealth Protection
Legal Assistant, Wealth Protection
“Gail has been very professional, polite and quick to respond throughout the transaction. Would happily recommend.” Mick Jennings
“Top class solicitors, provided a hassle free, professional service… if you’re looking for a firm that really seems to care, charges reasonable fees and doesn’t swallow you up in legal jargon - I’d highly recommend giving them a call.” Anne-Marie Armstrong
“The whole team has been accessible and very well informed.” Legal 500
“I have received a very caring and professional service from both Laura and Gail. All my concerns were answered in a considerate and prompt fashion. Thank you very much.” Justine Abrahams
“Gail is my solicitor and has helped me in every stage of my husband’s estate. Because I can no longer write she has simplified things for me and is very approachable whenever I ring, and doesn’t make me feel stupid when I ask stupid questions!” Margaret Borthwick
"Very personable and friendly, technically very strong and very ethical and client focused." Legal 500
"Gareth Williams, can give advice to HNW individuals with complex planning needs and also acts as a professional deputy for individuals who have been awarded significant personal injury and medical negligence claims, technically very strong and has a great understanding of the needs of the client and how to provide the appropriate solutions and service." Legal 500
∕ Wealth Protection
Instructing Estate Administration Solicitors
If the Deceased has left a Will, the PRs will be the Executors appointed by the Will and they will...
While it is not possible to provide an all-encompassing price for probate, the following provides a breakdown of how our...
Types of Grants of Probate
A Deed of Variation is a device whereby, after a death, a beneficiary can pass their entitlement in terms of...
If the deceased has left a Will, the PRs will be the executors appointed by the Will and they will...
If you would like to speak with one of our expert lawyers, just call or email using the information below, or complete this form.
"*" indicates required fields
Grandparental Settlements for Private School Fees: A Tax-Efficient Solution
Co-owning Property - Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common?
What is inheritance tax and when do you pay it?