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What is a Deed of Variation?

What is a Deed of Variation?

A Deed of Variation is a legal document that changes the terms of a person’s Will after their death.

Why would you need a Deed of Variation?

There are several reasons why the beneficiaries of a Will may wish to change the terms of the Will.

1. To avoid a Will dispute

In all Australian States, it is possible for eligible people to challenge the terms of a Will. This is possible if they believe they have not been given adequate provision for their proper maintenance, education and advancement in life. These challenges to a Will are commonly referred to as “family provision claims” and they generally result in court proceedings.

If beneficiaries are aware that there is a family provision claim going to be made and that the claim will most likely be successful, then they can sign a Deed of Variation. This will change the terms of the Will. As a result, the person making the claim will receive adequate provision from the Estate. By doing this the beneficiaries can avoid potentially expensive and time-consuming court proceedings. It also helps the Estate be distributed as soon as possible.

2. A beneficiary is refusing the accept their inheritance

Another reason for a Deed of Variation could be if a beneficiary is refusing to accept their inheritance. This could be for a variety of reasons. For example, accepting the inheritance could produce a financial impact on their pension. Or perhaps there is a personal reason.

In this instance, a Deed of Variation can ensure that the inheritance is not gifted to that beneficiary.

How do you get a Deed of Variation?

A Deed of Variation is a legal document so it is important that you obtain expert legal advice on the Deed. This includes an expert lawyer drafting the Deed of Variation, to ensure that it is valid, binding and effective. To be valid, a Deed of Variation should be signed by the beneficiaries named in the Will, as well as the Executor named in the Will. This demonstrates that the terms of the Will are being changed by the mutual consent of all persons interested in the Estate.

In addition, an expert Wills and Estates Lawyer can ensure that any taxation implications in changing the terms of the Will are addressed, such as capital gains tax, as well as addressing any impact that the change may have, on any payments being received by beneficiaries from Centrelink or other pensions.

Need a Deed of Variation?

Heckenberg Lawyers are experts in Estate Planning, Will Disputes, creating Wills, creating a Deed of Variation and more.

Contact us here for a chat (obligation-free).

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Samuel Burns
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As the executor of an estate, I engaged Graeme and his team to handle a family provision claim and probate matter. I found Graeme to be professional and knowledgeable. Throughout the entire process, Graeme treated all parties involved with respect. He was always willing to take my concerns onboard and never pushy. I find legal matters highly stressful. Having Graeme and his team guide the process helped ease the stress and achieve a fair resolution for all involved. Highly recommended.
Sonja Psaroudis
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If you need legal representation in a matter to do with Wills & Estate law I highly recommend Graeme, Blaise and the whole team at Heckenberg. Their knowledge and expertise in this area of the law was a huge comfort at a very difficult time, saving all parties involved time and money in the long run. Thanks again!
Donna Hodges
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Blaise was extremely professional in assisting with all matters to do with my fathers estate and probate. She made an extremely complex process very easy to understand and instilled great confidence at a difficult personal time for our family.
Kim Pink
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I found Heckenberg Lawyers to be very professional and knowledgeable. Graeme took the time and explained the entire process to me. He was never pushy nor was he just after "his cut" as so many other practices are. He was at all times looking out for the best interest of the estate and not wanting it to be eaten. I found his staff to be extremely thorough and attentive. I would have no hesitations to recommend this practice if you want the best outcome possible.
Jane Araneda
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Thanks to Graeme, Blaise and their team at Heckenberg Lawyers for helping us finalise our matter in a timely manner. They were always very helpful and professional. They took care of everything very well, which meant that there was no added stress on me and my family.
Alan Barringham
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Graeme and his team were extremely competent and efficient in resolving our estate claim.
Olma Mignacca
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Graeme is trustworthy and thorough. His charges were reasonable and easily understood. The team was considerate and helpful.
Vicki Johnson
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Graeme and his team are very professional and experienced. We are very grateful for the way they handled our case.
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