How to leave a gift in your will

A gift in your will means you can help to change the future at Birmingham, and change the lives of the next generation of students.

It is simple and quick to do, whether or not you already have a will. Writing a will often isn’t particularly expensive but it is essential to make sure your estate is taken care of and goes to help the friends, family and causes that you care most about.

If you would like to have an informal chat or ask any questions, please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.

Image of Thomas KayThomas Kay, Legacy and Endowment Manager
Development and Alumni Relations Office, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, B15 2TT
Phone (direct): +44 (0)121 414 9161

If you haven't made a will

Your will is a document instructing on how you would like your estate to be divided when you pass away. Your estate comprises everything that you own, including property, objects (known as ‘chattels’), savings, investments, and pensions. Once put together, your estate is probably worth much more than you originally thought. Without a will, some or even all of your estate may end up passing to the Government. Writing your will gives you peace of mind that your assets will go to those you love, and more people are choosing to leave a percentage of their estate to a charity that is close to their heart.

We would always advise using a solicitor to write your will.

You can download our suggested wording for a legacy here, which you may find useful to share with your solicitor. If you would like your gift to benefit a more specific area we recommend that you contact our Legacy and Endowment Manager, Thomas Kay, on +44 (0)121 414 9161 or at, who would be delighted to help you make a difference that means most to you.

If you already have a will

There are a number of ways to amend your will and we would be delighted to help by providing the information you need to shape your gift and the difference you want to make. We then recommend you speak with your solicitor to seek professional advice about the best way to make a change to your will to ensure it is up to date and in line with the current legislation. 

Types of gifts

Gifts in wills take various different forms, all of which could benefit our staff and students. The most common types of gift are listed below. 

  • A residuary bequest is a gift of anything that is left over once all other specific gifts in your will have been distributed (the 'residue'). You can leave the whole of your residue to Birmingham, or a percentage of it.
  • A pecuniary bequest is a specific gift from your estate, usually a specific sum of money.
  • A particular item, such as a work of art, a property, or stocks and shares. The wording for this is the same as a pecuniary bequest except that the gift is an item rather than a figure or percentage

Tax-efficient giving

We have full charitable status and any gift that you leave to the University of Birmingham is free from UK inheritance tax. A gift may therefore mean that you pay less inheritance tax on your overall estate, but you must speak to your solicitor or financial adviser for any advice on this matter. Our HM Revenue and Customs tax-exemption number is X7237

You can still leave a gift to the University in your will even if you are not resident in the UK, but depending on your country of residence you might not benefit from tax-deduction. We recommend that all legacies are given directly to the University of Birmingham at the address above, although US residents can choose to give to the University of Birmingham Foundation if this enables tax-efficient giving. Your financial advisor is the best person to advise on any tax benefits available to you.

How we like to say “thank you”

We are incredibly grateful to everyone who chooses to support the future of the University of Birmingham with a gift in their will. Without this support, we face the possibility of not being able to offer scholarships that enable students to study at Birmingham and change their future prospects or being able to fund crucial research that is helping to save lives.

That’s why we have created the Rowbotham Fellowship for supporters who have pledged a legacy. You will receive special invites to exclusive events as well as being listed in our Register of Bequests which sits proudly in the foyer of the Great Hall to celebrate those who have chosen to leave a gift in their will. If you have left us a gift in your will, we would love to hear from you so we can invite you to the Rowbotham Fellowship and keep you informed about the amazing things that gifts in wills are enabling us to do. If you have told us about your gift it can also help us ensure your wishes are met later on. If you would like more information, or to let us know that you have remembered us, please contact Thomas Kay on +44(0) 121 414 9161 or at Thank you for remembering Birmingham!