Lifetime legacies plan appeals to the wealthy

Research suggests donors would like to make gifts to charity but benefit from them during their lifetime

EAPG hosted round-table discussion
EAPG hosted round-table discussion

Wealthy donors would welcome the introduction of lifetime legacies, new research indicates.

Delegates at a round-table meeting, hosted by the European Association for Philanthropy and Giving last week, discussed the prospect of lifetime legacies, which would be given through proposed legal vehicles called charitable remainder trusts. This would allow a donor to give an asset to a charity but retain rights to benefit from it during their lifetime.

Richard Bray, regulatory and tax manager at Cancer Research UK, said his organisation had conducted a series of focus groups with "mass affluent" donors, and that most supported the idea.

Hannah Terrey, head of policy and public affairs at the Charities Aid Foundation, said lifetime legacies were also supported by a small sample of high net worth individuals interviewed during Treasury-backed research into Gift Aid.

However, under existing tax rules, a gift to a charity does not attract a tax break unless a donor forfeits all right to it immediately.

The association, the Charity Tax Group and several top charity lawyers are campaigning for this to be changed.

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