I have recently taken over a probate file where the beneficiaries of the estate were also equitable joint owners with the deceased to a particular property (deceased was not on the title). After the death they decided to gift part of the property to another beneficiary by way of a declaration of trust. They subsequently decided that a deed of variation would have been better and executed a DofV duplicating the provisions in the prior declaration.
They have asked me to advise on the IHT treatment and whether HMRC will consider the reading back effective in light of the prior declaration. I suspect that HMRC will go with the declaration but I would be very grateful for comments if anyone has come across this or anything like it before.