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    Rewriting a Will with the best intentions in mind

    Make sure the people you care most about are well provided for with our Deeds Of Variation service. When the time comes for the Will to take effect, a beneficiary might wish to redirect their inheritance, or part of it, to someone else, such as their own children.

    A Deed of Variation is a complex legal document that, provided certain conditions are met, enables a beneficiary to rewrite the section of the Will which deals with his/her inheritance. We can help you through the process – just get in touch with our expert team today.

    At Birchall Blackburn Law, we deliver a friendly, value-for-money service. Our lawyers are highly qualified and their specialist knowledge means they can guide you through every step of the process of changing a will.

    Wills & Inheritance Quality Scheme and The Association of Lifetime Lawyers (ALL)

    We are proud to be members of the Law Society’s Wills & Inheritance Quality Scheme (WIQS), a prestigious mark of high quality which requires us to provide enhanced standards of expertise, client care and service. Some individual people in our team also have additional specialist qualifications as members of respected professional bodies such as: the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP), The Association of Lifetime Lawyers (ALL) and the Law Society’s Private Client Section.

    Why change a Will and other questions on Deeds of Variation

    • How do I make changes to someone’s Will after they have passed away?

      To ensure that the change is effective for Inheritance Tax purposes, the best way to achieve this is to enter into a Deed of Variation, which should be signed within two years of the date of death.

      We strongly advise seeking professional advice to ensure all legal formalities and conditions are complied with. In some circumstances, the consent of other beneficiaries and the executors will also be required, e.g. if a beneficiary’s inheritance will be reduced by the variation, or if the variation will result in additional Inheritance Tax being paid. 

      In some circumstances, the Deed of Variation will need to be sent to HM Revenue and Customs if the effect of the variation is to change the overall amount of Inheritance Tax paid by the estate.  It should be noted that any beneficiary under the age of 18 cannot consent to a Deed of Variation, and an order of the Court would be required to vary a child’s entitlement.

    • What are the reasons for changing a Will?

      A few reasons why a Deed of Variation may be appropriate include:

      • To add someone who was left out of the Will, for example if another child or grandchild was born after the Will was made
      • To even out inheritance, for example if one child was left a smaller percentage than another 
      • To make the distribution of the estate more efficient for inheritance tax purposes
      • To set up a trust
      • To clear up any uncertainty in the Will
    • What happens if there is no Will?

      If there is no Will, the deceased’s assets will be distributed in accordance with the Intestacy Rules. It is still possible to prepare a Deed of Variation to vary the operation of the Intestacy Rules, provided that all of the beneficiaries are over 18 and in agreement to the proposed variation. 

    • Who can use a Deed of Variation?

      There are a number of rules that must be met in order to use a deed of variation:

      • Any deed must be made within two years of the death of the person leaving the estate
      • The variations must be agreed by any beneficiary who is left worse off by them
      • Those beneficiaries cannot be paid or given something in exchange for their agreement
    • What are the advantages of changing a Will?

      The deed of variation changes the terms of a will for tax purposes and any gifts made in this part of the process are treated as if they were made by the deceased.

      Even if the deceased did not leave a will, a deed of variation can also be used to redirect an asset that a beneficiary has received under the intestacy rules, perhaps to reduce the tax liability of the estate, for example:

      • To benefit from the lower rate of inheritance tax by making an appropriate gift to charity
      • Redirecting the asset to another beneficiary to make the best use of available exemptions
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    - Did you know?

    Any changes to a Will must be made within two years of the person's death.

    Hear it from our clients

    M. Weafer

    Very helpful, attentive, kind and patient.


    Very satisfied.

    MJ Hiles

    Everything went well. I felt comfortable talking to the staff.


    Very good service.

    T. Wood

    All good.

    P. Holt

    Her bedside manner was excellent.

    D. Thursfield

    Inspired confidence

    S. Wilson

    Extremely efficient service.  I was apprehensive about making a Will but Jessica guided me through everything – she explained everything and gave me space to ask any questions.  Would use her again.

    Let's start the conversation

    Whether you have a question about changing a Will or you want to know more about our services, you can call, email or request a callback at a time that suits you. 

    0800 614 722
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