A Deed of Variation is a legal document that changes the terms of a person’s Will after their death.
Why would you need a Deed of Variation?
There are several reasons why the beneficiaries to a Will may wish to change the terms of the Will.
In all Australian States it is possible for eligible people to challenge the terms of a Will if they believe that they have not been given adequate provision for their proper maintenance, education and advancement in life. These challenges to a Will are commonly referred to as “family provision claims” and they generally result in court proceedings.
If beneficiaries are aware that there is a family provision claim going to be made on the Estate of the deceased and that the claim will most likely be successful, then they can sign a Deed of Variation changing the terms of the Will, so that the person making the claim receives adequate provision from the Estate. By doing this the beneficiaries can avoid potentially expensive and time consuming court proceedings, as well as allowing the Estate to be distributed as soon as possible.
Another reason for a Deed of Variation could be the refusal of one of the beneficiaries of the Estate, refusing to accept the inheritance provided for them in the Will. This could be for a variety of reasons such as, the financial impact accepting the inheritance may have on their pension as well as emotional reasons such as, a dispute with the deceased. In this instance a Deed of Variation can ensure that the inheritance is not gifted to that beneficiary.
How do you get a Deed of Variation?
A Deed of Variation is a legal document so it is important that you obtain expert legal advice on the Deed. This includes an expert lawyer drafting the Deed of Variation, to ensure that it is valid, binding and effective. To be valid, a Deed of Variation should be signed by the beneficiaries named in the Will, as well as the Executor named in the Will, as this demonstrates that the terms of the Will are being changed by the mutual consent of all persons interested in the Estate.
In addition an expert Wills and Estates Lawyer will be able to ensure that any taxation implications in changing the terms of the Will are addressed, such as capital gains tax, as well as addressing any impact that the change may have, on any payments being received by beneficiaries from Centrelink or other pensions.
If you need advice on changing the terms of a Will through a Deed of Variation or Contesting a Will you need to seek legal advice from an Expert Wills & Estates Lawyer. You need to speak to the expert lawyers at Sydney Wills Lawyers on how to successfully change the terms of a Will or Contest a Will. We specialise in Wills & Estate Law and pride ourselves on our open and honest communication with clients.
Call today for an appointment to discuss further on 9221 2779.
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