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Can a will be changed after death?

A deed of family arrangement can make it possible!

There are times when the terms of a deceased’s will are not suitable, and the beneficiaries of the will seek to have the will varied. Sometimes there are good reasons where this is necessary, such as changing circumstances over a long period of time from when the will was first drafted, or an estrangement between family members is healed (or vice versa).

This is where a deed of family arrangement can help, but it requires all beneficiaries and interested parties to agree on the changes to be made.

A deed of family arrangement can result in settlement of disputes without litigation and all of the expense associated with legal action, which can also tie up an estate for months or even years.

Deeds of family arrangement can be used in a number of circumstances, such as:

• Where there are doubts about the meaning of a will
• Where beneficiaries wish to change the distribution of the estate between them
• To compromise a claim against the estate where there is a challenge to the will
• To create an estate proceeds trust under taxation legislation.

Under certain circumstances, it may be possible to disregard the resulting capital gains or losses. Care also needs to be taken in relation to stamp duty implications, and these may vary from state to state.

Note also that a deed of family arrangement that acts to reduce the entitlements going to a minor or a disabled person may require court approval.

Care needs to be taken with any deed of arrangement, and the advice of a professional is highly recommended.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss the above, please contact our office.

4Front Accountants

07 3245 9966

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