I want to divert some of the assets (shares and cash) from a beneficiary’s share of a residue to two new beneficiaries, so we intend to use a deed of variation. Because the assets won’t be diverted in equal amounts, I am looking at producing separate deeds for each new beneficiary; however, I am getting hung up on the rules for a valid deed and the scope of ‘entitlement’ and ‘assets’, which typically aren’t defined. Guidance around variations use the terms interchangeably but all say these can only be varied once. I do understand that something specific cannot be varied again (e.g. a car or a clock diverted to A cannot then be diverted to B), but the scope and implications of those two terms are less clear to me for my particular circumstances.

1) if a named beneficiary is ‘entitled’ to an estate’s share of residue, as an ‘entitlement’, can the residue be subject to more than variation or does is mean the share of residue can only be varied once?

2) When talking about ‘assets’ (which may be from the residue), does it mean a specific type of asset as a whole (e.g. shares, cash, chattels etc.) can only be varied once or can they be sub-divided by multiple variations?

Put another way: in my case, is it valid to produce two deeds to divert from the named beneficiary’s share of residue: 10,000 company shares and £5,000 to New Beneficiary A; and 8,000 company shares and £4,000 to New Beneficiary B?