Change a will after a death

You can change a person’s will after their death, as long as any beneficiaries left worse off by the changes agree.

If there’s no will the law decides who inherits. You can make changes to the inheritance in the same way as if there’s a will.

Any changes to the will must be completed within 2 years of the death.

You can change a will to:

  • reduce the amount of Inheritance or Capital Gains Tax payable
  • provide for someone who was left out of the will
  • move the deceased’s assets into a trust
  • clear up any uncertainty over the will

What you need to do

To change a will you’ll need to make a ‘variation’.

You don’t need a formal document or deed - you can write a letter as long as it meets these conditions.

If the variation means there’s more Inheritance Tax to pay, you must send a copy to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) within 6 months of making it.

You don’t need to send a copy to HMRC if the variation doesn’t change the amount of Inheritance Tax due.