ITV’s Coronation Street frequently deals with real life situations. One of their recent story lines dealt with the aftermath of Geoff Metcalfe’s death, which saw his wife Yasmeen having been omitted from his Will.
Geoff left his entire estate to his son Tim, including his shares in the house and business he jointly owned with Yasmeen. In this instance however, Tim decided he didn’t wish to inherit his late father’s estate and instead wanted his inheritance to be made over to Yasmeen.
Can Tim change his inheritance?
When creating a Will, people name those who they would like to benefit from their estate when they pass away, such as family, friends or charities. Beneficiaries are generally left monetary legacies or specific items. However, beneficiaries don’t have to accept these bequests and can change the distribution of their inheritance.
In Scotland, changing the distribution of the deceased’s estate can be done using a legal document called a Deed of Variation.
In this case, a Deed of Variation would be drawn up stating that Tim would like to direct his inheritance to Yasmeen. Therefore, Geoff’s estate would pass directly onto Yasmeen and not Tim.
What are the reasons for a Deed of Variation?
Anyone who is a beneficiary under a Will, in Scotland, can use a Deed of Variation to vary the distribution of their inheritance. The Deed can be used for a number of reasons, such as re-distributing family wealth, provide further funds for those in need or to move assets into trust. It is important to note however that altering the distribution of inheritance may result in a change to the tax position of the estate.
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Our approachable Private Client Team at Harper Macleod will work with you in relation to any issue involving Wills or executries.
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