A gift in your will to Birmingham 

The University of Birmingham is fortunate to have benefited from gifts in wills throughout our 100-year history.

My bucket list: a Birmingham legaacy (Video transcript)

From life-changing research to developing our beautiful campus or supporting the next generation of students, our alumni and friends are ensuring the University continues to succeed in the future. By giving in your will, you will play a vital role in our future aspirations and even a small donation can make a big difference. If you remember your time at Birmingham fondly, please consider remembering us with a gift in your will.

You can find more information about how to leave a legacy below, or by requesting a hard copy of our legacy brochure.

Request your legacy brochure

How to leave a gift in your 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. In every case we recommend that you consult a solicitor when making or updating your will to ensure it is in line with current legislation.

If you are considering leaving a legacy, or would like to discuss the difference you want to make in more detail, we would love to hear from you.

Thomas Kay smiles to camera

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

Nicola Belli smiles to camera

Nicola Belli, Legacy & In Memory Giving Officer
Development and Alumni Relations Office, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, B15 2TT
Contact Nicola by email
Phone: +44 (0)7770 348 950

Write your will for free today

Dunham McCarthy

All alumni of the University of Birmingham and their partners or spouses have the opportunity to take advantage of a free will writing service offered by Dunham McCarthy, Estate Planning and Will Writing Specialists. We understand making a will may feel daunting and is something that is often put off until it’s too late, however our experienced advisors are on hand to put your mind at rest and make the process simple and easy to understand.

Start your free will today

How your gift will make a difference

Including a gift in your will is a simple way to transform the lives of young people and help shape the future of Birmingham. Here are some of the ways your gift could make a difference:

  • Open the door for future students to come to Birmingham. Gifts in wills play a central role in maintaining and growing our well-known Pathways to Birmingham (P2B) scheme, which helps hundreds of talented students from low-income households study at Birmingham each year.
  • Help our researchers continue to change the world we live in the for the better. Birmingham is at the heart of world-changing research that is saving lives in the UK and across the world, including leading the fight against brain tumours, bowel cancer and blood cancer.
  • Tackle climate change by supporting The Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR), the only experiment of its kind to investigate how to help our forests survive climate change.
  • Improve youth mental health by helping our leading researchers understand what is causing an epidemic in mental health needs, how we can offer people early help and what treatments are most effective.
  • Give back to your college, school or department to help future students follow in your own footsteps and ensure continued excellence in your own field, from one generation to the next.
  • Preserve our arts and heritage sites on campus. Your gift could help preserve Winterbourne House and Garden, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts or The Lapworth Museum of Geology so that they can continue to be enjoyed by future generations.

There is a lot you can achieve with your legacy gift, and we are happy to discuss your intentions. Please get in touch by contacting Thomas Kay, Legacy and Endowment Manager, or call +44 (0)121 414 9161.

Shevina (BSc Psychology, 2020)

Scholarship recipient

“Donations mean that people like me are able to create a future, which would have previously seemed impossible without your help. I aspire to give something back once I graduate and help to change lives and impact the community the way you do. Thank you.”

The Rowbotham Fellowship

114 2To recognise and thank you for pledging a gift in your will, you will be invited to join the Rowbotham Fellowship. The fellowship is named after Sir Samuel Rowbotham, a Birmingham pioneer who made the first recorded legacy gift to the University. As a member of the fellowship, you will be invited back to campus for an exclusive annual reception to hear more about the impact of gifts in wills at Birmingham.

Donor Stories

We have highlighted several inspirational stories of people who have donated money, either with gifts in their wills or gifts in memory of loved ones.

View donor stories 

Laura Fairbanks (BA English and Drama, 2008) and Simon Fairbanks (MA English Literature, 2010)

“We met at the University of Birmingham so it holds a special place in our hearts. Whilst we support the university with regular gifts to research and student support, we are keen to provide a larger gift from our estate when the time comes.”

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. Telling us about your gift will 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 or call +44 (0)121 414 9161. Thank you for remembering Birmingham!


Why do I need a will?

Your will is a document instructing 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.

How to I make or update a will?

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

You can download our suggested wording for a legacy, 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, or call +44 (0)121 414 9161, who would be delighted to help you make a difference that means most to you.

What kind of gift can I leave?

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.

Will leaving a gift to charity in my will change how much inheritance tax is due?

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 and our registered address is The University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT.

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, 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.

Can I leave a gift in memory of someone?

People often leave gifts in memory of people who they have lost, either because Birmingham meant a lot to them or because research that we are doing at the University could prevent others from suffering.

Please visit our webpage on giving in memory of someone for more information or contact our In Memory Giving Officer Nicola Belli who would be happy to help.