By Juliet Phillips-James, Director, Gomer Williams (as featured in the Llanelli Star)
Q. I have been left a significant amount of money under my aunt's will. However, as I am comfortably well off I would rather that this money went to my children. Could you please advise me as to the best way I can do this, avoiding any tax implications or complications for myself?
A: You will need to enter into a Deed of Variation. This allows you as a beneficiary to re-direct your gift to your children. Essentially it varies a will or intestacy ( where there is no will).
You can only vary your own legacy under the Deed of Variation. Other beneficiaries would have to consent to a variation of their own legacy. If the beneficiary is under 18, their legacy cannot be varied without the consent of the court
A Deed of Variation can be done at anytime, however, if it is done to save inheritance tax or capital gains tax it must follow the requirements below:
It must be completed within two years of the date of death;
There should be no incentives or inducements (such as a cash payment) given to any beneficiary to enter into the deed;
The destination of an asset cannot be varied more than once in different deeds;
The right tax declaration must be included in the deed.