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How a deed of variation removed inheritance tax liability

The wife died first leaving the available nil rate sum to a discretionary trust with the remainder to the husband. The husband died shortly afterwards leaving the entire residue to their only child, who was grown up and had assets of his own.

Moore Blatch recognised the child had a taxable estate before receiving assets from his father’s estate. A deed of variation was put in place varying his father’s will to leave everything to a second discretionary trust. The child, together with his own children, was a potential beneficiary of each of the two discretionary trusts. This took the value of both his parents’ estates outside his own estate for the benefit of himself and, in due course, his children and grandchildren, thereby removing what would otherwise have been a substantial inheritance tax liability.

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