Aerial photo of the Canterbury campus

Frequently asked questions about legacies

Why make a will?

Making a Will is an important act. Without a Will, the Government is responsible for making the decisions about how your estate is divided – this may not be in line with your wishes. Also, with rising property prices many individuals’ estates fall in to the higher inheritance tax threshold and this is why estate planning is one of the most helpful things you can do for your family and/or other beneficiaries.

When should I make a Will?

It is never too early to make a Will and it is often far cheaper than people expect. Making a Will is not the prerogative of the older generation. Many younger people with responsibilities (for example children) or assets (such as a property) would be well placed to make a Will. Also people with strong views on where their assets should go are well advised to make a Will.

A codicil or letter of wishes can always be added to your Will at a later date to amend or add to your wishes.

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

Once you have decided to support the work of the University of Kent, choose which form of gift is most appropriate.

For example you may choose to leave:

  • a specific sum of money
  • a proportion of your estate
  • specific items of value – please contact us if you plan this so that you can be assured your gift can be properly housed and maintained
  • the ‘residue’ of your estate (what’s left after you have provided for family and friends, liabilities, legal costs, funeral expenses and tax)
  • the whole of your estate (after payment of liabilities, legal costs, funeral expenses and tax)
  • your estate after the death of your spouse, which ensures that your husband or wife has security in their lifetime.

I’ve already made my Will, but haven’t included the University of Kent. How can I make it a beneficiary?

A codicil or letter of wishes is a simple way of adding to your Will at a later date without rewriting the main provisions. It needs to be signed and witnessed but it is a straightforward procedure that can be easily arranged by a solicitor.

My assets are not in England or Wales – what should I do?

The laws relating to inheritance tax and making a will can vary according to country. If you live outside England or Wales, or hold substantial assets outside these areas, you should seek advice from a local solicitor.

If you are a resident of the United States you should direct your gift to the University of Kent in America Inc, which is an exempt charity with 501(c) (3) status. This means your gift will benefit the University of Kent while taking advantage of US income tax deduction to the maximum extent allowed under US law.

What is the suggested wording for my gift?

Below are some examples of legal wording. If you show these clauses to your solicitor, it can help in drawing up your Will.

Specific bequests. ‘I give to the University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NZ, UK free of all tax the sum of £­­______ (or the specific items to be given, as the case may be) for its general charitable purposes and I further direct that the receipt of the University Treasurer or other proper officer of the University for the time being shall be a full and sufficient discharge to my executors for the said legacy.’

Residuary bequests. ‘I give to the University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NZ, UK ­­______ (enter the word “all” or fractional share) the residue of my estate for its general charitable purposes and I further direct that the receipt of the University Treasurer or other proper officer of the University for the time being shall be a full and sufficient discharge to my executors for the said legacy.’

Codicils. ‘I ­­______ (full name) of ­­______ (full address) declare this to be a first (or second or third) codicil to my will dated ­­______ (date of will in words) which I make this ­­______ (current date in words) I leave to the University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NZ, UK, a pecuniary legacy of £­­______ . In all other respects I confirm my said will.’

Exempt status The University of Kent was established by Royal Charter in 1965 and is an exempt charity within the meaning of the Charities Act 1993.

Can I speak with someone about leaving a legacy to the University?

We would be delighted to speak with you about your wishes, either by telephone or in person. Jenny Richardson, Stewardship & Planned Giving Officer, can be contacted at J.Richardson@kent.ac.uk or on 01227 823588. All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence.