Deed of Variation Checklist

Here’s a Deed of Variation checklist to help you work out whether you can use a Deed of Variation to change a deceased person’s Will after death. It’s also useful if there isn’t a Will and you want to change the effect of the intestacy rules.

If you need a reminder of what a Deed of Variation is you can read about it here.

Deed of Variation checklist

#1  Have more than two years passed since the deceased died?

#2  Has someone affected by the variation refused to sign the document?

#3  Is anyone under 18 years likely to receive less as a result of the changes to the Will?

#4  Is any adult with a mental impairment going to receive less?

#5  Is anyone giving up an inheritance because they live in residential care ? 

#6  Are you trying to change a variation that was previously made?

#7  Is anyone going to receive something in return for giving up their inheritance?

#8  Are you changing the Will to reduce inheritance tax  or capital gains tax?

#9  If the answer to #8 is ‘yes’ have you included a statement that the changes are for IHT* or CGT* purposes?

#10  If the changes relate to stocks, shares or securities is there a Stamp Duty certificate in the document?

If you have answered ‘yes’ to any of the questions at #1 to #7 it’s possible a Deed of Variation won’t be completely successful in achieving your intentions. Look at the article linked to at the top of this page to find out information about why that might be the case.

That’s not to say you won’t be able to make a Deed of Variation but you might need to take some extra steps such as asking the court for permission or take a slightly different approach to achieve the same result.

*IHT means inheritance tax and CGT means capital gains tax