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Milliband In Trouble Re Inheritance Tax Liability And Tax Avoidance

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Deed of Variation Used To Divide Ownership Of The Family Home

Private Client Solicitor Sarah Finnigan of Pearson Solicitors comments on the Milliband tax avoidance story.

“Notwithstanding the unpopularity politicians attract if they ever admit to using a tax avoidance measure to their own advantage, we regularly advise our clients to use a Deed of Variation after a death.

"Indeed, it is rare that we are given a second chance to re-structure matters in a way that better suits our financial and personal circumstances, but the legislation surrounding Deeds of Variation provides just that.

"The variation may legitimately be used to wipe out an inheritance tax charge or to benefit family members that receive no or insufficient provision from an estate, or even to totally re-write a Will.  The beauty of the document is that it also applies where no Will was prepared, in which case the so called intestacy rules apply to divide the estate in favour of the deceased’s nearest blood relatives.  This can result in an arbitrary distribution that does not necessarily reflect the deceased’s relationships at the time of his or her death, particularly when one considers that a cohabitee never benefits under the intestacy rules.

A deed of variation can correct all this; a genuine case of having one’s cake and eating it.”

To speak with Sarah about Deeds of Variation or for advice, call 0161 785 3500 or email


Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

Written by Sarah Finnigan


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