When a Will is made it can be difficult to predict what changes may happen to a family in the future, and it is even harder to predict changes in the law. Fortunately, all is not lost if a Will is no longer fit for purpose, or if the opportunity to mitigate tax liability has apparently been missed.
Deeds of Variation make it possible to rearrange where an estate goes after death so that inheritance tax liability is mitigated for beneficiaries, such as children or spouses.
They can also be used when someone dies without having made any, or any valid, Will (death intestate). Current rules mean that if a husband or wife dies without a Will, then the surviving spouse may be put at an unintended disadvantage in terms of what they inherit and a Deed of Variation can be used to redirect inheritance.
Following a 2015 HMRC review of Deeds of Variation they were found to be an unobjectionable method of tax mitigation and so a family’s wealth can still be dealt with in the most efficient manner without the need for a new Will.
If you feel you would benefit from guidance on making or changing a Will, or would like to know more about Deeds of Variation in general, please contact the Private Client department at Stone Rowe Brewer LLP on 0208 891 6141 or by email at email@example.com.