Changing a Will after Death

Changing a Will after Death.

Changing a will after death in England or Wales is often possible. If you know that you do need to be changing a Will after death, click the link to go to our enquiry page.  Exactly the same applies, surprisingly, if there is no Will.  In reality, there is a greater need for such changing a Will after where there is no Will, because the Rules of Intestacy (which in effect ARE the Will) can be very unfair.

Why would you consider changing a Will after death?

1. To save Inheritance Tax or Capital Gains Tax.

2. To provide properly for someone who has been left out of the Will or who has not
been given proper financial provision in the Will.  It is quite common for people to have misunderstandings with their children and cut them out of their Will.  So changing a will after death can put right unfairnesses and avoid destroying relationships.  You might consider that peace of mind and good family relationships are more important than a few pounds.

3. To change gifts under a Will, for example to expand a life interest into an outright gift. Over complicated Wills can be simplified by way of a Deed of Variation.

4. To redirect the deceased’s share of a jointly owned asset which would otherwise pass to the surviving joint tenant.

5. To resolve any uncertainty or defect in the Will. Just because a Will is badly made, as long as people agree, it can be put right after the death.

6. To make sure by changing a Will after death that the benefits go direct to people who actually need them.  For example, skipping wealthy and perhaps poorly children, to go direct to grand children or even great grand children who may need a helping hand.   Why give more cash to people who may need long term care or where anything they inherit will just be taxed at 40% before it gets passed on to anyone who actually needs it?

7. For many people, the most important issue is to make sure that the assets of the person who died are protected for future generation by moving them into a trust.  Why?  Because all too often, the survivor remarries and everything ends up going to another family entirely.  Or worse still, they are “befriended” as they get older and the befriender persuades them to change their Last Will and cut out the family.   The cure is fairly straightforward and need not do anything to the disadvantage of the surviving partner – contact us if this might be an issue.

Changing a Will after death.

Of course it isn’t as straightforward changing a Will after death as to write the best possible Will before death rather than after death! However, so few people keep their Legal Planning up to date that changing a Will after death is pretty common.  You may want to check this out to avoid the need for changing a Will after death.

Assuming it is too late to avoid the need for changing a Will after death, some conditions need to be met to allow that to be possible.

Changing a Will after death: the conditions.

1) Changing the Will after death must be completed within 2 years of the death.

2) The deed of variation must contain any necessary Inheritance or Capital Gains Tax clauses.

3) Anyone disadvantaged by the changed Will must agree to the change.

4) Anyone disadvantaged by changing the Will after death must not be compensated in any way.

5) Many people believe that only one deed of variation is allowed per estate.  This isn’t true: you can change a will after death as many times as you like (subject to all the other conditions) as long as each deed of variation covers different assets.  An expensive way to go about it, however!

5) The variation must be genuine!

To move forward with changing a Will after death, click the link for our enquiry page.