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Next Steps

If you are considering leaving a legacy to the College, firstly, thank you.

Drawing up a Will is simple and an existing Will can be easily amended. However, we encourage you to consult your solicitor to ensure that your intentions are clear and that the document is legally binding.

Notifying the College

The Development Director would be delighted to hear from you personally to be notified of your intention to leave a bequest, and to arrange welcoming you to the 1869 Foundation. Alternatively, you can complete the 1869 Foundation pledge form to inform the College of your legacy, and return it to the Development Office.

Inheritance tax

As Fitzwilliam College is a charitable entity, a bequest the College can help the value of your estate go further. Gifts to charities in legacies are exempt from inheritance tax, which is levied at 40% on assets exceeding £325,000. Furthermore, anyone who leaves 10% or more of their estate to charity benefits from a reduction in the rate of inheritance tax from 40% to 36%. Find out more about inheritance tax on the HMRC website.


Please contact the Development Director, who can advise on a form of words that will sufficiently indicate your wishes.

Types of legacy

Pecuniary or monetary legacy: This is a simple legacy of a specified sum.  A gift made in this way is likely to lose its value through inflation over the years.  However, the sum can be index-linked to help retain its value.

Residuary legacy: You can choose to leave all or part of the value of your estate, after debts, other legacies and liabilities have been met. This has the advantage of automatically keeping up with inflation.

Life Interest or Reversionary legacy: This allows you to provide for your family first by leaving your assets to trustees, the income from or benefit of which is given to named beneficiaries during their lifetime. Those assets, or a portion of them, can then pass to Fitzwilliam on their death.

Non-monetary legacy: Specific gifts such as property, works of art, shares or other valuables can be left to the College.

Conditional legacy: This allows you to make your bequest dependent on a certain circumstance, for example that you will leave your estate to the College if none of your named dependents survive you.

Deed of Variation: If you are the beneficiary of a Will, it is possible to consider transferring the whole or part of your inheritance to the College using a Deed of Variation. Amounts transferred are free of Inheritance Tax otherwise due. This is an excellent tax-efficient opportunity to support Fitzwilliam in your own lifetime. Please consult your solicitor about drafting a Deed of Variation.

USA residents

Cambridge in America can help Members based in the USA to make tax-efficient gifts to Fitzwilliam. For full information, please see Cambridge in America’s Planned Giving page. You will need to request that the Directors of Cambridge in America exercise their discretion and allocate your gift to support Fitzwilliam College. Cambridge in America also runs the 1209 Society to thank US alumni who support Cambridge by means of Planned Giving.

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