Legacy giving

A gift in your Will can be the single most valuable donation you make.

After providing for your friends and family, we offer several planned gift options enabling you to support the School or a specific area(s) that you care about.


Beatrice and Sidney Webb, Graham Wallas and George Bernard Shaw founded LSE with a bequest of £20,000 from Henry Hunt Hutchinson, who wished to advance the Fabians’ objectives of a fairer society. By studying the causes of poverty and analysing inequalities, they sought to promote greater equality of power, wealth and opportunity.

Your own legacy gift could also have an impact on generations of LSE students and academics seeking to understand the causes of things.

Gift in a Will

​LSE encourages you to ensure that your family and friends are provided for first before asking you to consider a gift to support its efforts and commitment to ‘understand the causes of things’. Some of the most common options chosen by our supporters when including LSE in their Will are:

  • A percentage of the residual estate after friends, family and other expenses have been met. A gift of this kind protects the estate’s value over time;

  • A specific cash amount to LSE, which can also be protected from inflation by index linking its value at the time of drawing up your Will;

  • A reversionary legacy, through which your assets are held in trust to benefit your partner/dependent(s) and upon their death would revert to the School in its entirety or in part. Your solicitor can advise on this.

  • A specific item, for example property, jewellery, shares etc. It is advised that you try to inform us ahead of time of any specific gift so that we can plan for it.

There is no ‘right time’ to act when considering your Will, but taking the time to do so will ensure that the interests of the people you care about and the work of organisations that you value are protected in the future. 

Life insurance

​LSE can be nominated as a whole or part beneficiary of a life insurance policy. It is important to nominate on the appropriate form, which can be requested from your Scheme provider. As with retirement assets, without your wishes on file, the Scheme Trustees will be obligated to explore potential beneficiaries which could take some time and, more importantly, not be in line with your wishes. 

Retirement assets

​By designating LSE as a whole or part beneficiary of your retirement assets you would pay no income or inheritance tax on the funds received by the School as it is recognised as a charity. You can nominate LSE by requesting the appropriate form from your Scheme provider. 

Without your wishes on file, the Scheme Trustees will be obligated to explore potential beneficiaries which could take some time and, more importantly, not be in line with your wishes.  

Gift of shares

​Gifting appreciated shares is a great way of supporting LSE’s work while offering maximum returns. Such gifts offer the benefit of no capital gains tax or Inheritance Tax being liable on the value of the shares.

Overseas giving

​If you are resident outside the UK (excluding Scotland), you can include a gift to LSE in your Will without negative tax implications. Taxable estates will qualify for an estate tax charitable deduction since LSE is a qualified charity. 

If you are resident in Scotland, a solicitor will be able to advise on Scottish probate law since this differs in a number of respects to UK probate law.  

If you are considering gifting UK held assets to us, please seek professional advice to ensure that your personal circumstances are taken into account. A poorly written will could cause delay for your friends and family when it comes to settling your estate. 

Tax information

LSE is recognised as a charity by the Inland Revenue and pays no tax on gifts it receives, including bequests. LSE’s tax-exempt reference number with HM Revenue & Customs is X2401. 

A bequest to LSE could have taxation benefits for your estate by reducing the net value of the estate, and therefore the amount of Inheritance Tax for which the estate is liable.