Q&As

A deed of variation to a Will has been prepared to include a discretionary trust with named charities and individual family members as beneficiaries. Will it be possible to change the charity beneficiaries in the future?

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Produced in partnership with Paul Davies of Clarke Willmott
Published on LexisPSL on 15/06/2020

The following Wills & Probate Q&A Produced in partnership with Paul Davies of Clarke Willmott provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A deed of variation to a Will has been prepared to include a discretionary trust with named charities and individual family members as beneficiaries. Will it be possible to change the charity beneficiaries in the future?

A ‘deed of variation’ is the expression normally used for a deed which varies the terms of a deceased person’s Will and which often includes a statement that the provisions of section 142 of the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 are to apply to it. Such a deed normally ‘re-directs’ an outright disposition occurring in favour of an individual on death. The ‘re-direction’ can be to a different individual or into trust.

Unless a power of revocation has been reserved (which is rare) a gift into trust is an outright disposition of the settlor’s interest in the property given away. Notwithstanding the gift is made into trust by means of a deed of variation, the law generally pertaining to gifts will apply. Accordingly, unless the deed was incorrectly drafted, and did not reflect the settlor’s intentions (in which case rectification may be available) it

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