How to Go About Changing a Will After Death

You may need to alter the will of the deceased after they’ve passed away. With this in mind, Prestige Tax and Trust Services explains how to go about changing a will after death.

Changing a will

A ‘will’ is a legal document that somebody uses to detail what they wish to happen to their estate (money, property, possessions etc.) once they’ve passed away. When somebody makes a will, they appoint an ‘executor,’ who administers the estate of the deceased.

There are certain circumstances where the executor, or somebody who’s close to the deceased, may need to change the will once the person in question has passed away. Under UK law you can change a will after death, but these changes must be executed within two years of the deceased’s passing.

Conditions you must meet

If there’s no will this process is pretty simple. This is because the courts determines who inherits the estate under the laws of intestacy, meaning you can make changes to the deceased’s estate in the same way as if there was a will. You can only change a will after death however, if any beneficiaries who would be left worse off as a result of the changes in question, agree to the alterations.

There are several alterations you’re allowed to make when changing a will after death. You can reduce the amount of inheritance tax/capital gains tax payable by the estate, or provide for someone who’s been left out of the will. You can also use it as an opportunity to clear up any uncertainty in the will, or to move the deceased’s assets into a trust.

How to make changes

If you meet these criteria you can change a will after death and to do so, you’ll need to make a variation. This is not a formal deed or document; rather it’s a letter that meets certain government criteria. You must send a copy of the variation to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) within six months, if the change you wish to make to the will forces the estate of the deceased to pay more inheritance tax.

Prestige Tax and Trust Services

The process of changing a will after death is one which is hard to execute without legal support. If you wish to change the will of someone who’s already passed away, come to Prestige Tax and Trust Services. Our team have the experience you need to ensure that you can alter the will of someone who’s passed away within necessary legal parameters.

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