Deeds of Variation - Are They Justified?

Written by Janine Byrne

Introduction =============

Deciding to make a Will and then actually puttingrepparttar decision into action can be a somewhat stressful, upsetting and daunting task for some people. So it may be a little disconcerting to learn that after you have put all that effort and thought into planning your Will that there might be some opportunity for those left behind to change your instructions and alter your Will. after you are gone. It is a perfectly sound argument to point out that you haverepparttar 119179 right to leave your possessions to whom you please and therefore why should disgruntled beneficiaries be allowed to change your instructions? 

The Government's focus on tax avoidance,repparttar 119180 overhaul ofrepparttar 119181 trusts regime as proposed inrepparttar 119182 Pre-Budget Report 2004 andrepparttar 119183 consequent new legislation - Finance Act 2004 (to come into effect April 2005) - led some to believe that Deeds of Variation -repparttar 119184 means by which a testator's instructions in a Will are amended - would cease to be valid. However,repparttar 119185 Chancellor Gordon Brown did not rule out their existence and therefore such Deeds have continued application and relevance. So what exactly are Deeds of Variation, how are they created and what isrepparttar 119186 justification for their continued existence?

Deeds of Variation - What Are They? ====================================

A Deed of Variation is a written document which seeks to amend/vary certain instructions/dispositions in a testator's Will. The result of a variation to any Will is that one or more beneficiaries will have their entitlement affected in order to take into account someone else's new entitlement; this means that either their share is reduced in value or completely obliterated. The following example, (whilst probably very artificial), demonstratesrepparttar 119187 point.

Example -------

Maude in her Will left £6,000 to her son Michael and nothing to her daughter Michelle. To rectifyrepparttar 119188 unfairness ofrepparttar 119189 Will disposition Michael agreed to a Deed of Variation by which his share was split with his sister, thus allowing each to receive £3,000. In order to be legally valid,repparttar 119190 Deed must comply with certain conditions;

1) Must be made in writing. 2) All persons who were original beneficiaries inrepparttar 119191 Will and any persons who benefit fromrepparttar 119192 proposed variations inrepparttar 119193 Deed must signrepparttar 119194 Deed. 3) It cannot be given for money or money's worth. 4) It must be made within 2 years ofrepparttar 119195 death ofrepparttar 119196 decedent.

Consent ------- The first criterion is self explanatory so we turn torepparttar 119197 issue of consent. Withrepparttar 119198 above example in mind it appears clear why consent of all parties is required due torepparttar 119199 significant changes in a beneficiary's entitlement which can ensue from any variation. A clear indication of consent is a signature.

Money or Money's Worth ---------------------- The must be no inducement for a beneficiary of a Will to agree to a variation which would benefit someone else. Again, an example will demonstraterepparttar 119200 point.

Example -------

Walter leaves substantial gifts to his two children Jane and Wayne but consequently has left his widow Joan impoverished and unable to sustain herself. Jane and Wayne agree to give a share of their gifts to their mother onrepparttar 119201 agreement that Joan will return it to them inrepparttar 119202 form of PETs (potentially exempt transfers). This will be deemed to have been given to Joan for money or money's worth and thus will not constitute a valid Deed.

Made Within 2 Years of Death ----------------------------- The Deed must be made within 2 years ofrepparttar 119203 decedent's death and this time frame is due to issues of tax. If made after more than 2 yearsrepparttar 119204 Deed cannot be given retrospective affect for either Capital Gains Tax (CGT) or Inheritance Tax (IHT) purposes which, as we shall see, is one ofrepparttar 119205 main reasons Deeds of Variation are still used.

Justification for Deeds of Variation ======================================

Bugging and Tape Recording Conversations in Arizona: Is it Legal?

Written by Trent R. Wilcox, Esq.

Lawyers often receive inquiries aboutrepparttar legalities of recording phone or other conversations in Arizona. In particular,repparttar 119178 issue frequently arises in family law cases where child custody is at issue. Related torepparttar 119179 recording issue isrepparttar 119180 "bugging" issue.

There are a number of variables that affectrepparttar 119181 answer torepparttar 119182 central question, whether it is legal to either record or even bug conversations. First, bugging and recording are two different issues under Arizona law, often related, but also potentially very different underrepparttar 119183 law.

Second,repparttar 119184 laws regarding bugging and recording vary significantly by jurisdiction so what is legal in one state may be illegal in another. As well,repparttar 119185 federal law may vary from state laws.

The following is a very brief analysis ofrepparttar 119186 bugging and recording law in Arizona:

A. Bugging, otherwise known as wiretapping, typically means placing a device on a phone that allows one to eavesdrop on a conversation or other transmission. Bugging by a private party is considered illegal almost all ofrepparttar 119187 time for two reasons primarily: First, it allows someone to listen to a private conversation between two or more unsuspecting parties. Second, bugs are usually placed without permission so you have a number of infractions inherent in such trespass-like activity. If you suspect someone has placed a bug on your phone or other device, you should callrepparttar 119188 police.

B. Inrepparttar 119189 case of a telephone or in-person conversation, recording simply means making a copy ofrepparttar 119190 conversation between two or more people. Recording is illegal in Arizona if NO party torepparttar 119191 conversation knows thatrepparttar 119192 conversation is being recorded. However, in Arizona, and this varies by state, if one party torepparttar 119193 conversation knows thatrepparttar 119194 conversation is being recorded, it is not illegal. Thus, if someone tape records a phone call or conversation involving him/herself and another person, even one who is unaware of being recorded, that's legal in Arizona. Ifrepparttar 119195 same person taps into a phone line and records a conversation between two people who are unaware they are being recorded, it is ILLEGAL. Arizona and federal law are similar in this respect; however, recording conversations is illegal in certain other states unless all parties know ofrepparttar 119196 recording and consent. There may be some cross-jurisdictional issues involved when tape recording a conversation across state or national boundaries. Prior to tape recording, it is recommended that you consult an attorney inrepparttar 119197 appropriate jurisdiction.

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