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HMRC internal manual

Capital Gains Manual

Death and Personal Representatives: Variation of the devolution of an estate: Outline: Varying devolution of estate: introduction

When a person dies, in most cases it is the will which provides what is to happen to his or her assets after the estate’s liabilities have been dealt with. This will provide that

  • specific assets, interests in assets or sums of money are to pass to certain legatees


  • the remaining assets forming the residue of the estate are to pass to certain persons in various proportions,

in either case absolutely or as trustees on behalf of beneficiaries.

If there is no will, or the will is invalid, or it fails to dispose of the whole of the deceased’s estate, then the property passes in accordance with the statutory rules for intestacy.

For the reasons discussed in CG30270 and 30280 it may be desirable or may become necessary to vary the devolution of the estate from the arrangements provided for at the date of death.