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Frequently asked questions

Why does Kingston University need legacy gifts?

Gifts in wills provide vital income to Kingston University. Current pressure on government funding for higher education continues, putting the opportunities of young people at risk. We are proud of the diversity at the University and want to continue to extend opportunity to all with the ability to succeed.

Can I choose what my legacy is spent on?

Yes, you can specify how your money is spent. You can choose to support:

  • a specific school or department by providing essential funding for scholarships and bursaries;
  • academic posts and research programmes in schools and departments;
  • undergraduate and postgraduate students with bursaries and grants; or
  • support them all by leaving a gift in your will for the area of greatest need.

It is best to allow some flexibility in the use of your legacy, and we would be happy to advise you on this. This means the University in the future can put your legacy gift to the best use possible at the time your gift is received.

Can I be sure that you will spend my gift where I want it to be spent?

We will endeavour to spend your gift as you have requested. Discussing your hopes and vision with us as you plan your legacy gift will ensure that we can carry out your wishes. In rare cases where there are very specific terms which do not fall within the remit of our work, we may not be able to accept a bequest.

We will very happily arrange meetings with our leadership team and professors if you wish to explore where you want to dedicate your bequest.

What basic information do I need to include when I'm leaving a gift in my will to Kingston University?

The most important pieces of information to include are our name, our address and exempt charity status:

Kingston University
Higher Education Corporation of River House
53-57 High Street
Kingston upon Thames
Surrey KT1 1LQ

Kingston University is an exempt charity under the terms of the Education Reform Act 1988.

What is Kingston University's charitable status?

Kingston University has charitable status for all UK tax purposes and is an 'exempt' charity under Schedule 3 of the Charities Act 2011 and under the terms of the Education Reform Act 1988. Consequently, it does not have a registered charity number.

Individual faculties and schools make up Kingston University. For legal and tax purposes, legacy gifts must be directed to Kingston University, however you can name the faculty or school as a specific beneficiary.

Can I make changes to my will?

Once your will has been made, signed and witnessed, you should only make amendments by consulting your solicitor.

There are only two ways you can make changes the contents of your will:

  • add a codicil to the will; or
  • write a new will.

A codicil is a supplement to a will which makes some alterations but leaves the rest of it intact. This might be done, for example, to increase a cash legacy, change a named executor or guardian, or to add beneficiaries. A codicil must be witnessed, although the witnesses do not have to be the same as for the original will. There is no limit to the number of codicils that can be added. You should always take legal advice when making any changes or amendments to your will.

How do I ensure that all my beneficiaries receive what I wish them to receive?

Your executor is legally obligated to act in your interests, following the wishes expressed in your will. They are responsible for collecting together all the assets of your estate, dealing with paperwork and paying all the debts, taxes, funeral and administration costs. They will then pay out the gifts and transfer any property to beneficiaries.

What are the inheritance tax implications of leaving a legacy?

Kingston University is an organisation with charitable status which means that legacy gifts are exempt from inheritance tax. Your solicitor will be able to advise you if you are be liable to pay inheritance tax on your estate and can suggest ways of minimising your liability. For more information and the latest thresholds contact HM Revenue & Customs.

How do I make a will?

Making a will isn't complicated and shouldn't be costly. We strongly recommend that you use a solicitor to prepare your will.

What shall I write on my legacy to Kingston University?

View our suggested wording for leaving a legacy to Kingston University.

Where can I find a solicitor?

Find a solicitor in your area.

Can Kingston University be one of my executors?

Unfortunately, Kingston University is unable to act as an executor. We recommend that you choose two executors, who can be a professional advisor, family member or friend. Your solicitor will be able to advise on the eligibility of a chosen executor.

Will my legacy be remembered in some way?

At Kingston University we love to tell the stories of our legators; people whose lives were enriched by a Kingston education and have chosen to pass on that gift. We would love to discuss with you how we can continue to involve you in the University during your lifetime and honour your contribution in the future.

Can I choose how much I want to leave and does it have to be a lot of money?

You can specify exactly how much you would like to leave to Kingston University and no, it doesn't have to be a lot of money; any contribution to our work is valuable and very much appreciated.

What if my circumstances change?

A good solicitor will make sure your will is worded to take account of any changes in your circumstances that may happen later in life - such as a birth or marriage, or a change in your finances. Your solicitor will discuss the best way to provide for your family and friends while knowing that you will still be doing something for your favourite charities.

Can you offer legal or financial advice?

We are very happy to discuss your wishes and intentions but, regretfully, Kingston University is unable to offer direct legal or financial advice on will making or estate planning.

Can I talk to someone about will making and leaving a legacy to Kingston University?

Please contact our legacy manager who will be pleased to discuss your ideas.

Contact us

Sarah Duncan
Legacy Manager
Kingston University
53–57 High Street
Kingston upon Thames
Surrey KT1 1LQ
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 3112
Email us

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