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Your questions answered


I would like to support the University with a legacy, but my family and friends come first. How can I still make an impact?

We always encourage all of our alumni and supporters to ensure that their family and friends are carefully provided for before they even consider leaving a legacy to the University, as we appreciate that their needs must come first. In such cases, you can choose to allocate a percentage of the residue of your estate as a gift to the University. In this way you do not have to make a decision on what might be an adequate sum many years from now. Even a modest percentage of your estate residue can make a considerable difference.

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I am not wealthy. Can I still leave a legacy?

Yes, legacies are the greatest donation anyone can make – and the only one that will not reflect in your bank account during your lifetime. Any gift – large or small – is of great value to the University, and is always very gratefully received.

Over the last five years, the University of Bristol has received legacies totaling in excess of £9 million, with gifts ranging from £500 to £3,000,000. Each and every one of these legacies has had a terrific impact on our teaching and research activities, and on the students who have been helped through them. Some legacies have established new academic Chairs by creating endowments; others have funded specific areas of research and others still were unrestricted. We used one of the smallest gifts we received recently – a legacy of £1000 – to purchase equipment to help blind and deaf students to access learning facilities.

Smaller gifts can be used to provide one-off bursaries to students in financial difficulties, for instance; or travel grants and student prizes.

If you would like your legacy to be invested in perpetuity, you may also consider contributing to an endowment already in existence, in which case the size of the legacy gift is irrelevant, provided that it does not greatly over fund whatever the endowment fund was set up to provide.

Please contact Ella Searle, Planned Giving Manager, on +44 (0)117 394 1045 or email ella.searle@bristol.ac.uk if you would like to discuss your legacy intentions.

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How can I include the University of Bristol in my Will?

Legacy gifts are administered through the Campaigns and Alumni Relations office, so it does help if you include this in the wording. We are a very large organisation, and having the right contact details will make it easier for your executors to deal with the right office. The main thing is to include the following address and number:

Campaigns and Alumni Relations
University of Bristol
Senate House
Tyndall Avenue
Bristol BS8 1TH

Tax repayment reference number x1121

We provide sample Will wording (PDF, 21.2 KB) which we strongly recommend you should discuss with your solicitor and adapt to reflect your wishes.

Please note that the University of Bristol cannot offer any legal or financial advice on Will making or estate planning. We strongly advise you to consult your solicitor before drafting a new Will or updating an existing one. The University of Bristol cannot recommend solicitors or professional Will writers. If you do not yet have a solicitor, you will find information on how to choose one on the Law Society website.

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I already have a Will. How can I include the University of Bristol?

You can add a legacy to the University by simply adding a Codicil (PDF, 25 KB) to your existing Will.

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What types of legacy are there?

There are five main types of legacy gifts that can be made:

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Can the University benefit from my pension arrangements?

Yes, whether you have a life assurance provided by your employer's pension scheme, or you are currently withdrawing income from a personal pension fund, you can nominate the University of Bristol as a beneficiary on your death. What's more, this is an extremely tax-efficient way of supporting the University with a gift that is completely free of Inheritance Tax but that would otherwise present your children with an 82% tax bill.

With the help of Dickinson Dees Solicitors, we can offer the following further information to explain how this can be achieved:

If you would like to discuss this option further, please contact Ella Searle, Planned Giving Manager, on +44 (0)117 394 1045 or email ella.searle@bristol.ac.uk.

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Can I specify which part of the University is to benefit?

Yes, you can. You may wish to make a gift for a particular purpose. For example, you may have a special interest in a particular Department or Hall, a field of study, a certain Professorship or a specific area of medical research or animal welfare. For instance, you may wish to establish a scholarship or lecture series, perhaps in memory of a close friend or relative to reflect their interest in a particular area or simply to commemorate them.

However, gifts with very narrow objectives need careful consideration as the University is a constantly evolving body, and its needs and priorities change in consequence. The intent or objective of a very specific legacy may no longer be relevant by the time your Will comes into effect. You may therefore prefer to leave a legacy to support the general purposes of the University, which will enable the implementation of whichever priorities are most pressing at the time of receipt. See our sample Will wording (PDF, 21.2 KB) for further clarification.

If you would like to discuss in detail any specific legacy intentions you may have, please contact Ella Searle, Planned Giving Manager, on +44 (0)117 394 1045 or email ella.searle@bristol.ac.uk.

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I would like my legacy to be invested in perpetuity. How can I do that?

The minimum donation required to set up a new endowment is currently £50,000.

If you think your legacy might be worth less than £50,000 at the time of its receipt, but you would still like us to invest it in perpetuity, you can choose to direct your gift to the University of Bristol Endowment Fund. This fund was strategically created in 2006 with the aim of growing it and investing its capital over the years. The purpose is to generate enough income to secure the future financial position of the University, and enable it to support strategically important initiatives or activities.

To discuss endowments and naming opportunities, please contact Ella Searle, Planned Giving Manager, on +44 (0)117 394 1045 or email ella.searle@bristol.ac.uk.

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Are there any tax benefits to leaving a legacy to the University of Bristol?

Yes. As a result of the UK Charities Act 1993, Schedule 2, the University of Bristol is conferred charitable status (tax repayment reference number x1121).

If you make charitable legacies in your Will, you can reduce the Inheritance Tax liability of your estate. Please seek professional advice on how minimise the tax burden on your estate.

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How will Scottish Law affect my legacy to the University of Bristol?

Please seek the advice from your solicitor as some areas of the law relating to Wills are different in Scotland.

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I am an executor and there is a bequest to the University of Bristol in the Will. How should I pay the money to you?

Please send all correspondence and cheques payable to 'The University of Bristol' to:

Ella Searle
Planned Giving Manager
Campaigns and Alumni Relations
University of Bristol
Senate House
Tyndall Avenue
Bristol BS8 1TH - UK

Email: ella.searle@bristol.ac.uk

Tel. +44 (0)117 394 1045

If you are a lay executor, and you are unsure as to how to proceed in the administration of the estate in question, you can find useful advice on the Institute of Legacy Management website.

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Further information

If you have any other questions which have not been answered here, please contact Ella Searle, Planned Giving Manager, on +44 (0)117 394 1045 or email ella.searle@bristol.ac.uk.

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