Legal

Changing a will after death

Contrary to popular belief, a will may be effectively changed after a person’s death. Entering into a deed of family arrangement is a way to vary the terms of a will and can be established provided that all beneficiaries or interested parties come to a consensus on a specific outcome.

Circumstances for a deed of family arrangement
A deed of family arrangement will be an option in the following circumstances:

  • There are doubts about the meaning of the will
  • The beneficiaries desire to rearrange the distribution of the estate
  • To compromise a claim against the estate agent where there is a challenge to the will
  • To create an estate proceeds trust under taxation legislation

Compliance rules
Consider the following points to make sure your your agreement is binding and abides by taxation legislation:

  • All interested parties including the executor of the estate must sign the deed
  • For greater certainty that the agreement is binding seek court approval of the terms of your agreement
  • No adverse Capital Gains Tax consequences will be incurred if the requirements of 128-20(1)(d)(i) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 are met
  • Applying for eligible concessions minimises any Stamp Duty triggered by the agreement

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