Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts


Our Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts Legal Hour is hosted by Vicky Tassell, Solicitor in our Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts department.

If you require further help regarding Wills, probate, tax and trusts, please phone us on 01279 755777 or contact Vicky Tassell directly.
Our Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts Team will be hosting the Nockolds Legal Hour on the following dates:

Wednesday 13th December 2017 12pm - 1pm 
Wednesday 14th February 2018 12pm - 1pm 
Wednesday 28th March 2018 12pm - 1pm 
Wednesday 9th May 2018 12pm - 1pm 
Wednesday 20th June 2018 12pm - 1pm 

Our Latest Legal Hour Questions (01.11.17)

Read your previously answered questions here
I have an Enduring Power of Attorney – is this still valid? 

Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA’s) are still valid documents as long as they were created before 1 October 2007. 

Any attorneys who have been appointed under the document will still have the authority to act on your behalf in respect of any property or financial decisions, subject to any restrictions which have been included in the EPA.

EPAs are not registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) until the attorneys deem that the donor is losing or has lost capacity. Once that has happened, a duty arises on the attorneys to register with the OPG. 

In October 2007, Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA’s) were introduced to replace the Enduring Power of Attorney. These can be obtained in respect of Health and Welfare decisions, in addition to Property and Financial decisions.  They operate similarly to EPA’s; however there are slight differences as to when they can be registered and how they may be used. 

For more information, please contact a member of our Probate team. 

I’ve been told I could change the provision of my mother’s Will after she has died. How would I do this and what would be the reason for doing so?
After someone has passed away, within two years of their death, any beneficiary inheriting under their Will has the power to vary or change their entitlement under the terms of the Will. This does not mean that they can increase their entitlement but instead that they could re-direct it to another beneficiary if they wanted to do so. 
The most common reasons for altering the provisions are to improve the Inheritance tax position of beneficiaries. For example, you may inherit from your mother but decide you would rather your children have the funds. You could therefore make a lifetime gift of the money which would potentially impact your own inheritance tax position for a further seven years. Alternatively, you can complete a Deed of Variation so that you re-direct your entitlement to your children the gift takes effect as though it was actually made by your mother rather than you (avoiding the seven year rule). 

In some cases, a beneficiary may simply want to redirect their inheritance to another person or charity because they feel the Will was not reflective of the Deceased wishes. The new beneficiaries do not have to be previously named in the Will and can be chosen by the beneficiary who is changing their entitlement.

Changes should be made in a document known as a Deed of Variation, which needs to be properly signed and witnessed in order to be validly executed.  It also needs to include valid elections to make sure that the gift will take effect retrospectively or both Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax. 
I would recommend taking professional advice if you are considering making any changes to a Will, or making any lifetime gifts following an inheritance so that we can discuss the potential implications.