1 JANUARY 1965, Page 14

Trust and Duty

SIR,—Mr. Davenport, in his article in your issue of December 18, makes a statement which is so wide of the truth that it must cast doubt on the validity of the rest of the article. He states, 'The estate duty is largely voluntary because it can be avoided by gifts and trusts.'

Mr. Davenport should know that the donor of a gift or the maker of a trust may not legally accept any benefit from the gift or trust. It is, therefore, only those whose incomes exceed their needs who can by gift or trust reduce the duty on their estates. It was disingenuous to neglect the more normal case, that of the middle income group, in which income cannot be surrendered without a reduction in standard of living.

I, and I am sure many others, would be very grateful to Mr. Davenport if he would tell us how to preserve our small estates for our heirs. The experts whom I have consulted have been unable to.

0. J. R. ORR

Queendown Warren, Nr. Sittingbourne, Kent