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 beneficiary or person entitled may alter the destination of their entitlement from an estate (apart from settled property) 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.