George Osbourne continues with what has been described as a “fiscally conservative plan”. The chancellor delivered his pre-election budget today (18th March 2015) stating that Britain is “walking tall again”. He continues to concentrate on reducing the deficit.

The chancellor threatens to bring in new criminal sanctions for those avoiding tax and penalties for their advisors. Tax evasion is already illegal and should be distinguished from legitimate tax planning so it is unclear exactly what the chancellor plans to introduce here.Mr Osbourne did, however, say that there will be a review on Deeds of Variation in the Autumn and the review will involve the opinions of many.

A Deed of Variation is a useful tool to redirect an individual’s inheritance under the terms of a Will or under the intestacy provisions when they don’t want to take benefit themselves. The deed enables an individual to pass the inheritance to another person without it being classed as a gift and without it ever forming part of their estate. Provided that the Deed is completed within two years of the date of someone’s death, it is an incredibly useful tax planning tool and it would be a shame if they are abolished.

Anyone who thinks they may benefit from entering into a Deed of Variation can contact the Wills and Probate team at Blythe Liggins for assistance.

Caption: Donna Bothamley, Head of the Wills and Probate Department

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