Changing a will after death

Changing a will after death


Contrary to popular belief, a will may be effectively changed after a person’s death. Entering into a deed of family arrangement is a way to vary the terms of a will and can be established provided that all beneficiaries or interested parties come to a consensus on a specific outcome.

Circumstances for a deed of family arrangement
A deed of family arrangement will be an option in the following circumstances:

  • There are doubts about the meaning of the will
  • The beneficiaries desire to rearrange the distribution of the estate
  • To compromise a claim against the estate agent where there is a challenge to the will
  • To create an estate proceeds trust under taxation legislation

Compliance rules
Consider the following points to make sure your your agreement is binding and abides by taxation legislation:

  • All interested parties including the executor of the estate must sign the deed
  • For greater certainty that the agreement is binding seek court approval of the terms of your agreement
  • No adverse Capital Gains Tax consequences will be incurred if the requirements of 128-20(1)(d)(i) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 are met
  • Applying for eligible concessions minimises any Stamp Duty triggered by the agreement
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If you believe the matters discussed above are relevant to your business, please contact Darren Smith of our office to discuss further.


Darren is a Chartered Accountant with extensive experience, including working in the big 4 and medium sized firms before becoming a partner of a city based firm in 2000.

He has gained much experience and has extensive knowledge in providing business and taxation advice, superannuation planning, negotiation of sales and acquisitions of businesses and property development. His client base covers a wide range of industry groups.

Darren works with business owners to grow their businesses and create personal wealth within and outside of their business.


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