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Leaving a Legacy

Legacy giving represents an easy and tax-efficient means of making a future gift to King’s College. A legacy may be unrestricted, to fund the College’s priority needs, or directed to support or endow specific areas, such as funding for students, supervision, research and teaching, College buildings, the Chapel and the Choir. Gifts of all sizes are welcome, and the different mechanisms of giving available allow you to provide for family and friends as well as the College in the way that best meets your personal wishes and circumstance.

If you have not yet made your Will or are in the process of revising it, we are always happy to speak with you or your advisor regarding making a legacy gift, or to send suggested language. You can be assured conversations are held in the strictest confidence. To request a Legacy Brochure, please contact us.

If you have already made your Will, but would like to add a legacy to King’s, please do so using the wording of the Codicil Form.

King's College, Cambridge is a registered UK charity. Our charity number is: 1139422.

You can make a gift to the College in your Will in several ways. The most common types of legacies are listed below:


A residuary legacy is the whole, or a share, of what remains of 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 unaffected by inflation as there is no fixed sum. As the value of your estate increases, so will the value of your legacy.


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. 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.


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.


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 College.  Should you wish to leave a specific item to the College please contact the Director of Development to discuss your legacy.


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

Legacy Brochure

Tax Benefits

King's is a registered charity (1139422). Our charitable status ensures bequests to the College are exempt from paying tax. In addition, leaving a gift in your Will to the College may reduce your estate’s Inheritance Tax liability. Since April 2012, if you leave 10% of your estate to charity, the tax due may be paid at a reduced rate of 36% instead of they standard 40%. Please do visit the UK government website for more. Your financial advisor will also be able to provide additional information relating to your personal circumstance and help you gain the most benefit from your charitable giving. 


US Legacy Donors

US residents who make a planned gift to King’s through an estate plan may do so through Cambridge in America (CAm). An outright bequest to CAm, with the request that it is directed to King’s College, is not subject to federal or state inheritance or estate taxes; the value of a bequest is deductible in determining the value of your estate for tax purposes.

If you would like to leave a specific bequest to Cambridge in America in your Will, we suggest the following wording:

I bequeath to Cambridge in America, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation organized and existing under the laws of the District of Columbia with the business address of Cambridge in America, 1120 Avenue of the Americas, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10036, the sum of _____________ [dollars or percentage of estate], to be used exclusively for its charitable purposes. It is my wish that these funds will be utilized for the support of King’s College, Cambridge.

Under its charter, and in accordance with US tax law, Cambridge in America may not receive restricted gifts. However, the CAm Board gives every consideration to donors’ requests when allocating gifts to Cambridge and its colleges. We would be happy to speak with you or your financial or legal advisor regarding making a planned gift to the College. You can be assured that conversations are held in the strictest confidence.

US residents who make a planned gift to King’s are eligible for membership in the 1209 Society through Cambridge in America, and will also be invited to a number of special events at King’s.


Letting Us Know

If you decide to support King’s by way of a gift in your Will, we would be very grateful to know. One way to do this is via by completing and returning the College's Legacy Pledge Form. You do not need to give details of your legacy if you do not wish to, nor is the pledge form binding in any way; it is simply a statement of your present intention.

All individuals who complete and return a legacy pledge form are recognised with membership of the King’s College Legacy Circle, known as the King Henry VI Circle, and known as a College Legator. Each year, you will be invited to a special lunch with other Legators.

If your legacy pledge to King's College exceeds £100,000 and you provide the College with formal documentation supporting your pledge, you may be recognised as a Lifetime Member of the 1441 Foundation; for pledges over £250,000, Guild Membership of the 1441 Foundation may be offered.

Legators in the United States who pledge a gift in their Will to King's College Cambridge UK may be eligible for membership in Cambridge in America’s 1209 Society.


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