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

Our charitable status ensures gifts to the College are exempt from Inheritance Tax. 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 40%. Your financial advisor will also be able to provide additional information 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 leave a legacy to King’s in your Will, we would be grateful if you could let us know by completing and returning the Legacy Pledge Form. You do not need to give details of your legacy if you do not wish to, nor is the Pledge in any way binding; it is simply a statement of your present intention.

All legacy donors are recognized with membership of the King’s College Legacy Circle, and are invited to a number of special College events each year, including the annual Legacy Lunch.

Legators who indicate in writing a bequest to the College of more than £100,000 will be recognized as Lifetime Members of the 1441 Foundation; legators providing documentation for bequests in excess of £250,000 will be recognized as Guild Members of the 1441 Foundation. In addition, legators in the United States may be eligible for membership in Cambridge in America’s 1209 Society.

We welcome donations of all sizes to important causes such as our access programme, graduate scholarships or our renowned Chapel and Choir.
Donations to the College can be made as a one-off gift or regular donation; as a gift of shares, land, buildings or possessions; or as a bequest in a will.
We are honoured to recognise all gifts to the College and would be pleased to accept you into one of our donor circles.
Your donations have a direct impact on the College's ability to prosper as a centre of learning and research for future generations.

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The event was the culmination of a year-long programme of events to mark the anniversary of the admission of women as students to King’s.

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