I will admit to being perplexed by the discussion on how “person” is defined in the context of s.142 IHTA.
“Person” appears to be used for 2 different identities – the deceased, and those purporting to make the variation (although “appropriate person” is included as a third identity).
Other than in s.142(3A) and (3B), which place conditions on a gift to which s.23(1) applies, there appears no definition of, or restriction on, the identity of the beneficiary under a variation.
Mindful that a variation is merely a gift by the original beneficiary(s) dressed up as a gift by the deceased for IHT purposes (and some CGT purposes), I suggest that provided a gift may validly be made to the intended beneficiary undr the general law, then a variation to which s.142 applies may also be made in favour of that beneficiary.
In the absence of any specific restriction within the legislation, I agree with Malcolm that the potential beneficiaries under a variation valid under s.142 in generally unlimited.
Paul Saunders FCIB TEP
Independent Trust Consultant
Providing support and advice to fellow professionals