Post Death Estate Planning

Post Death Estate Planning In NSW

Post Death Estate Planning, is not new! Most people have heard of Estate Planning – the process of setting up your assets in the best way for your beneficiaries to benefit after you are gone. This includes dealing with your assets such as real property, shares, personal effects as well as superannuation and life insurance in such a way, to ensure that the maximum benefit of these assets will be passed onto your beneficiaries, without causing them any financial consequences.

So what is Post Death Estate Planning and how is it possible?

Post Death Estate Planning, is usually arranged by the Executor of the deceased Estate and can occur for a number of reasons. The method generally used is, a Deed of Variation to change the terms of the deceased’s Will, to alter the distribution of the assets in the deceased Estate. For a Deed of Variation to be valid, it needs to be signed by all the beneficiaries named in the Will.

One common reason for the Executor of a deceased Estate to arrange a Deed of Variation is, to minimize, or avoid a potential challenge to the Will by a loved one of the deceased. This can occur when a person believes that they have been unfairly left out of a Will, or they have not received the correct amount of inheritance from the deceased Estate. These types of challenges are commonly referred to as, “family provision claims” and are able to be made by designated eligible persons in each State of Australia.


Post Death Estate Planning in NSW
Post Death Estate Planning

An Executor and the beneficiaries of a Will, may decide that the challenge to the Will should be handled without proceeding to court proceedings and reach an agreement with the person, who intends to challenge the Will. This agreement is then drafted into a Deed of Variation, to ensure that the new distribution arrangement can be validly undertaken by the Executor of the Estate.

Another common reason where a Deed of Variation will be required is, where a beneficiary under the deceased Estate does not wish to receive their inheritance, for personal or financial reasons. The personal reasons may include their relationship with the deceased, while financial reasons can include the impact the inheritance may have on any pensions, or benefits they receive or taxation issues. Sometimes a beneficiary would also like the inheritance to pass straight to their children, or other loved ones instead of to themselves.

In these circumstances, a Deed of Variation is also an appropriate way in which to change the distribution of the assets in the Will, after the death of the deceased. Once again the Deed of Variation will need to be signed and consented to by all the beneficiaries in the Estate in order to be valid.

If you need advice on Post Death Estate Planning and how to arrange a valid Deed of Variation, then you need to seek legal advice from an expert Wills & Estates Lawyer. Sydney Wills Lawyers specialise in Wills & Estate Law and principal Graeme Heckenberg has been servicing Sydney clients for over 25 years!

Offices are in central Sydney CBD in Macquarie Street and close to public transport!  

Call today fo an appointment on 9221 2779 or email