Q&As

Can an estate be varied, with the court's consent on behalf of minor beneficiaries, to redirect the property from minor grandchildren of the deceased to the deceased's former spouse?

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Published on LexisPSL on 30/09/2014

The following Wills & Probate Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can an estate be varied, with the court's consent on behalf of minor beneficiaries, to redirect the property from minor grandchildren of the deceased to the deceased's former spouse?
  • Jurisdiction of courts to vary trusts

Full question: 'In a potential 1975 Inheritance Act claim, the deceased largely left his estate to his minor grandchildren omitting his wife from whom he was separated. Neither party remarried. The PRs are the children of the deceased and the wife as well as parents of the minor grandchildren. This is a non-hostile claim as the PRs recognise the deceased should have left something substantial to the wife. Can the PRs (and a litigation friend appointed on behalf of the minor grandchildren) come to a settlement with the wife (their mother/grandmother) and seek Court approval under CPR 21.10 or must the wife first instigate proceedings under the 1975 Act?'

A minor beneficiary cannot consent to the variation of a Will, but the Court is able to provide consent on behalf of a minor beneficiary where it deems the variation to be in the best interests of the minor. An application to the Court to consent to a variation on behalf of a minor should be made to the High Court Chancery Division under the Variation of Trusts Act 1958 (VTA 1958), using the Part 8 procedure.

The Practice Note Variation of trusts—variation of trusts with the court's assistance outlines the procedure for the application, and the Practice Note Variation of trusts—variation of trusts with the court

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