Deed of Variation - deceased beneficiary


I am acting on the administration of estates of both husband and wife.

H and W both died intestate leaving three children. W died first leaving an estate in excess of NRB. H died 6 weeks later, again leaving an estate in excess of NRB.

Can a Deed of Variation (with Notional Will) be created to enable the children to re-direct their entitlement to W’s estate to H and claim spouse exemption? This would mitigate against an IHT payment on W’s estate and also enable the PRs to transfer the unused NRB to H’s estate.

I have read comments on similar cases and they suggest that a variation cannot favour a deceased beneficiary…?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Many thanks
Rebecca Austin
JWP Solicitors

Suggest that you take a quick look at the HMRC guidance referred to in Claire Ritchie’s post about DOTAS and Deeds of Variation.

Maxine Higgins
Citroen Wells

1 Like

It is counter-intuitive to do this, because how can a variation be made in favour of someone who has died. However in their IHT manual HMRC apparently accept the retrospective ‘deletion’ of a survivorship clause to similar effect.

Paul Davies
Clarke Willmott LLP

I recently had a case where I was dealing with an estate that had inherited from another taxable estate (Estate A) and the estate I was dealing with was also taxable (Estate B). I did a DofV by the PRs of Estate B to redirect Estate A directly to the beneficiaries in Estate B so that it wouldn’t be taxed twice. It was accepted by HMRC and a repayment of the full amount of tax was made.

Clare Presley
Newtons Solicitors