A beneficiary entitled to any part of a deceased's estate under his will or under the laws of intestacy may enter into a deed of variation, such as a deed of family arrangement, and thereby alter the distribution of the deceased's estate or, alternatively, may disclaim the benefit to which he is entitled. Where this is effected by instrument in writing made within two years of the death of the deceased IHTA 1984 applies as if the deed of family arrangement had been a testamentary disposition made by the deceased or the disclaimed benefit had never been conferred – IHTA 1984, s. 142. (For a full discussion of deeds of variation, see ¶632-000.)

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