A Deed of Variation can also be prepared to amend a defect in the Will.
The individuals who sign the Deed of Variation will be the beneficiaries whose share is affected and usually the executors. A Deed of Variation is not possible if the beneficiaries are under 18. A variation which affects the interest of minors would have to have the consent of a Court.
The effect of the Deed is that the person who receives the extra or new benefit will be treated for Inheritance Tax purposes as having inherited it from the deceased directly. If an original beneficiary therefore has a large estate himself and wishes to avoid his estate being increased and more Inheritance Tax being paid on his death he may wish to redirect his benefit to his own children. However, if a beneficiary is receiving means tested benefits, a Deed of Variation cannot be used to redirect his entitlement from the deceased’s estate to prevent benefits being disallowed because under these circumstances it will be seen as a gift from the beneficiary.