Q&As

A Pre-action Inheritance Act claim is being settled by means of a deed of variation, but the beneficiaries of the estate have also agreed to pay the claimant's legal costs, which are to be subject to detailed assessment if not agreed. Should we record the agreement about costs in the deed of variation or in another way?

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Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 15/05/2020

The following Wills & Probate Q&A Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A Pre-action Inheritance Act claim is being settled by means of a deed of variation, but the beneficiaries of the estate have also agreed to pay the claimant's legal costs, which are to be subject to detailed assessment if not agreed. Should we record the agreement about costs in the deed of variation or in another way?

It is often the case that, where a dispute arises over the terms of a Will, or a claim is intimated for reasonable financial provision out of the estate by a qualifying person under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, a compromise will be reached by way of a deed of variation of the Will. This is often tax efficient and allows for the beneficiaries to re-write the terms of the Will to make provision for the party bringing the challenge.

The purpose of a deed of variation is formally to record changes to the terms of the Will. So, for example, the deed of variation could re-write the terms of the distribution of the residuary estate so as

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