Consultation on lifetime legacies 'might be imminent'

Richard Cassell of law firm Withers says he believes it might start this year

Richard Cassell
Richard Cassell

The government might soon announce a consultation on introducing lifetime legacies, according to Richard Cassell, a partner at law firm Withers.

Cassell has been part of a group of charities and financial and legal advisers who have been calling on the government to introduce lifetime legacies, which allow donors to give assets to charities but retain the right to benefit from those assets during their lifetime. These have proved popular in the US.

Speaking at an event last night organised by the European Association for Philanthropy and Giving and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners to debate lifetime legacies, Cassell said well-placed sources had told him that the government might announce a consultation on it soon.

He said a consultation would be necessary to address issues such as how lifetime legacies would be policed.

"There are some issues out there that have to be thought about," he said. "There needs to be a consultation period, but I’m hoping that might start this year."

Rowena Lewis, project lead of the Philanthropy Review, a group of sector leaders that is examining how to improve giving in the UK, told Third Sector there had been rumours of a consultation, but that she did not know anything concrete yet.

"We need to wait for the Budget," she said.

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