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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Alterations to the devolution of an estate: introduction

There are many reasons why the beneficiaries of an estate may wish to change the benefits given by will, intestacy or survivorship, such as to

  • clarify uncertainty in a poorly drafted will
  • take account of the differing fortunes of the beneficiaries
  • make good an injustice (perhaps children may wish to give part of their inheritance to provide, or make better provision, for a surviving spouse or civil partner (IHTM11032))
  • take advantage of estate planning opportunities to reduce liability to IHT.

The IHTA84 contains several provisions (IHTM35002) under which a person entitled to benefit from an estate under the will or by the intestacy provisions  may alter the destination of their entitlement in such a way that

  • the act by the beneficiary or person is not a transfer of value, but
  • it may change the IHT liability on the death or, exceptionally, other event on which the beneficiary became entitled.
  • Details of what is included in the definition of estate for the purposes of IHTA84/S142 are set out at (IHTM35071)