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Post death variations to Wills

It is possible to rearrange the way a deceased person’s property and possessions are to be distributed provided this is done within two years of the death.


Where an Estate is distributed in a manner which does not adhere to the deceased person’s Will, or the requirements of the Intestacy Rules if the person dies without making a Will, this is called making a deed of family arrangement or variation. All the people who would inherit under the Will or the Intestacy Rules must agree otherwise the proposed variation cannot take effect. Sometimes beneficiaries cannot consent to such an arrangement, for example, minors or persons with a disability.

If all relevant persons are in agreement the deceased’s property and possessions can be shared out in a different way so that people who did not stand to inherit under the Will or the Intestacy Rules can still receive part of the Estate. If this is done within 2 years of death, the variation will be treated for tax purposes as if it had been made at the date of death.