Variations Guidance 2 – Who can vary an Estate?

As the second in my series about Instruments of Variation, I thought that you should know who can actually put in place a Variation.
The idea of varying a Will is to change the situation, which (usually due to an out of date Will, or even no Will at all) is not appropriate.

So the big question is – who can vary an Estate?

When an Estate is varied it is best for the following people to execute the document:
• Executors
• Trustees (when either taking out or putting in place Trusts)
• All residuary beneficiaries who are accepting the changes
• An individual who is giving up his/her entitlement
• All those who would have received assets under an Intestacy

The reasons are:
• Executors – must know if assets have now been re-directed
• Trustees – must be aware of the changes and what their role will now be
• Beneficiaries – must agree if they are giving up part of their entitlement
• Individuals – must always sign if giving up all/part of their entitlement
• Intestacy – when varying an Intestate Estate everyone who would have received assets under the rules must agree to the variation

These are just some of the situations where particular people must sign the Variation document. Each case is different! If you need further advice call me for an informal chat.

Variation of Estates : Guidance Series 1

How you can vary an Estate

Many of my clients don’t realise that who gets the assets when a death occurs, CAN be changed post death.

In many cases when a person dies their Will may be out of date meaning that:
• The final intentions of the deceased are not included
• Someone is left out
• Assets go to people who don’t want them
• The way the Estate devolves is not appropriate

Examples of this are:
• The deceased had been meaning to update their Will, but didn’t
• More grandchildren have been born
• Adult children have their own Inheritance Tax problems
• Setting up only a relatively small amount into a Trust is not tax efficient

Matters can be changed to suit you and your family, so long as:
• Any changes are within 2 years of date of death
• The correct tax elections are made
• The necessary people agree to the Variation

If you need further advice about how a Variation could be the solution to an out of date Will, call me for an informal chat.