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HMRC internal manual

Inheritance Tax Manual

Lifetime transfers: gifts with reservation (GWRs): the gift: the property given

You need to identify precisely the property disposed of by way of gift. Until you have done this you cannot start to consider whether there is, or has been, any reservation.

The situation is straightforward where the donor makes a simple gift of all their interest in property they own.


Alicia owns her residence. She gives it to her children without reserving any right to live there. They allow her to live there, rent free, until her death.

The property given is clearly the residence. Her continued occupation is a reservation. The fact that she was not contractually entitled to do so and had no rights in or over the property is irrelevant.

Other situations are more complex, for example where

  • the donee acquires property at the expense of the donor
  • what the donee receives is apparently different from the property leaving the donor
  • the donee receives, or retains, only a partial interest in the property.

In all these situations you need to examine in detail the true nature of the transaction in order to ascertain what property was disposed of by way of gift.

The following page gives examples to help you ascertain the property given.