A deed is a type of legal document. A deed of family arrangement is simply a deed recording the distribution of an estate where the distribution is not made in accordance with a will or the laws of intestacy. The purpose of the deed is to record the agreed distribution for posterity, and to protect the personal representative from a subsequent claim.
Deeds of family arrangement may be used in the following circumstances:
- Where there are doubts about the meaning of a will, the affected beneficiaries can reach an agreement about how the will is to be put into effect;
- Where the beneficiaries wish to rearrange the distribution of the estate between themselves;
- To compromise a claim against the estate such as a family provision claim; and
- To create an estate proceeds trust under the taxation legislation.
Any arrangement that would reduce the entitlement of a disabled person, such as a minor or an intellectually disabled person, will require the Court’s approval.