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How to leave a legacy

You can make a gift to the University in your will in several ways and we advise that anybody wishing to support the University through a legacy should consult with a solicitor or legal professional in the first instance.

This will ensure that your intentions are recorded properly. All sample wording included here should be tailored to your own desires for what you would like your gift to achieve.

Legacy gifts, unless otherwise specified, will be invested in the University of Exeter’s endowment – our Exeter Forever Fund.

The most common types of legacies are listed below together with sample wording:

For a Residuary bequest

A residuary legacy is the whole, or a share, of everything that you own (i.e. your ‘estate’), once all gifts, debts, taxes and costs associated with it have been deducted. The benefit of residuary legacies is that the value is not affected by inflation as there is no fixed sum. As the value of your estate increases, so will the value of your legacy.

Sample for a Residuary bequest

I give all (or a ….% share) of the residue of my estate to the University of Exeter, Northcote House, The Queen’s Drive, Exeter EX4 4QJ (exempt charity reference number X9538) to be used for its general charitable purposes and I declare that the receipt of a proper officer of the University shall be a sufficient discharge to my Executors.

For a Pecuniary bequest

This is a gift of a fixed sum of money. These types of legacies can often be affected by inflation and their value can decrease e.g. £10,000 in 2013 will probably not be worth the same amount in several years’ time, let alone further into the future. However, you can choose to link pecuniary legacies to the Retail Price Index in order to safeguard the sum of your gift. You should consult your solicitor and/or accountant for full details on index-linking.

Sample wording for a Pecuniary bequest

I give free of tax to the University of Exeter, Northcote House, The Queen’s Drive, Exeter EX4 4QJ (exempt charity reference number X9538) the sum of £ (figures and words) to be used for its general charitable purposes, and I declare that the receipt of a proper officer of the University shall be a sufficient discharge to my Executors

Sample wording for an Index-linked Pecuniary bequest

I give free of tax the sum of money produced by dividing the sum of £ (figures and words) by the index figure in the Index of Retail Prices ('the Index') for the month in which this Will is executed and (having made allowance for any re-basing of the Index which may have happened in the meantime) multiplying it by the index figure in the Index for the month in which my death occurs, to the University of Exeter, Northcote House, The Queen’s Drive, Exeter EX4 4QJ (exempt charity reference X9538) and I declare that the receipt of a proper officer of the University shall be a sufficient discharge to my Executors.

Further types of legacies include:

Reversionary - This allows you to pass your estate (or asset) to an initial beneficiary for him or her to have the benefit and enjoyment during his or her lifetime. After this time, the estate (or asset) is passed to a specified person or charity absolutely. Given the complexity of reversionary legacies, we suggest that you contact a legal advisor to discuss legacies of this nature.

Specific - This is a gift of a specific item (e.g. books, fine art, special collections, life assurance policies) that you may feel will be beneficial to the University. We will either use the items as intended or we may sell the item (e.g. property, land, shares etc) and use the proceeds for the benefit of the University. In the case of books, the library may choose to find a more suitable, alternative home for them.

Conditional - This requires a particular event to occur. Conditional legacies mostly occur when you outlive all of the named beneficiaries in your Will.

Making changes to an existing Will

Changing your Will can be a very simple and inexpensive process.  Simple alterations are usually made through a supplement to your Will known as a codicil.  It confirms the original Will but adds to it.  However, it is always sensible to consult a solicitor who will advise you whether it is more appropriate to re-write your Will rather than add to it.  A codicil is particularly appropriate if you simply wish to add a gift to a charity.  Codicils need to be witnessed, signed and dated in exactly the same way as your Will.  The witnesses do not have to be the same as those who witnessed your Will, but of course they cannot be beneficiaries under the Will or codicil or the spouse of the beneficiary.

An example of a codicil is detailed below: 

I ______________ (name) of (address) declare this to be a (first/second or subsequent) codicil to my Will dated ______________. In addition to any legacies given in my said Will I give to the University of Exeter, Northcote House, The Queen’s Drive, Exeter EX4 4QJ (exempt charity reference number X9538) (the sum of £[figures and words]/specific item/__% share of my estate) to be used for general purposes and I declare that the receipt of a proper officer of the University shall be a sufficient discharge to my Executors.

You may, of course, stipulate any restrictions on how you would like your legacy to be used.

For more information on leaving a legacy read our Goodwill Guide.

If you would like to make your legacy gift to a particular department or project, please contact Clare Pearce, Fundraising Manager, at 01392 722235 or C.L.Pearce@exeter.ac.uk for further information.