VIC Can a will be varied by mutual agreement when the executors are also the sole beneficiaries?

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3 December 2018
My mother has gifted a significant amount of money from the sale of her property, equally to myself and my two sisters. My two sisters have taken up their gifts but I have opted to leave my portion in my mothers account as it would significantly impact the age pension. If I had not taken up my portion prior to my mother passing can the discrepancy be sorted out by the executors/beneficiaries - the estate will be left equally to the 3 children. Would a letter of agreement signed by all of us be sufficient to vary the distribution of the estate or would there be legal restrictions which would mean that things would have to be sorted out after distribution. Hope this make sense. Any advice would be appreciated.


LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
Better to have an agreement of some kind to show the money is your property and not part of your mother's estate. The wording will depend on details you discuss with a lawyer.

Executors cannot vary a will if they are not given that discretion in the will. The beneficiaries can gift any part of their inheritance in anyway they want, but not executors.

If the asset is significant in size some legal advice is a good idea.
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Well-Known Member
20 August 2015
Hi Michael

If all beneficiaries agree they can change the distribution of the estate under a will either before or after the testator dies by a deed of family arrangement.

Your mother's assets including cash in her bank accounts will form part of her estate unless it was money lent to her.

You need good legal and tax advice now to avoid disappointment later.


Well-Known Member
25 July 2018
Word of warning - be careful. You're hiding money from SendYouToDrink. So whatever you do, don't have a falling out with anyone.

(Sorry, I meant Centrelink.) ;)