Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I write a Will?

Regardless of your health or financial status, if you wish to pass your assets (savings, company pension, property, shares, a business) on to family, friends and/or charities that are meaningful to you, a properly worded and valid Will is the only way to be certain they will go where intended.    

Many people choose to create or update a Will after a significant life event, such as buying a new home, getting married or the birth of a child. Essentially 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 and organisations that you value are protected in the future.

If you die without a Will or if your Will is invalid your estate is distributed under intestacy rules. These rules set out a strict order of who can inherit your estate, which may go against your family situation; no provision is made to unmarried partners, cohabitees or ‘stepchildren’ under these rules. In the case one is not married with no children or living blood relatives, the Crown will receive the estate of the intestate. Making a legally valid Will ensures you have control over who is to inherit. This should ideally be reviewed every few years to ensure your wishes suit your current situation. 

Why should I support LSE with a gift in my Will?

  • You will play a valuable part in supporting areas of LSE that you care about, benefiting the School and all those that are associated with it for decades that follow.
  • You will contribute towards the enhancement of the School’s long term future and that of society as a whole through its influence on public policy.
  • As a charity, LSE pays no tax on gifts it receives, including legacies. A legacy may have taxation benefits for your estate by reducing the amount of inheritance tax for which your estate is liable.
  • You may find that you are able to contemplate making a much larger gift than would otherwise be possible during your lifetime.
  • Your generosity will be recognised through membership of LSE’s Legacy Circle and, when the time comes in the future on the realisation of your bequest, you will be listed amongst our proud and valued legators in our book of remembrance, which is permanently displayed in the Founders’ Room at LSE. 
  • Making a deferred gift means that you have the use of your assets during your lifetime.

I would like to make a legacy gift to LSE but my family and friends come first.

LSE encourages you to ensure that your family and friends are provided for first before considering a gift to support the School.

Some of the most common options chosen by our supporters when including LSE in their Will are:

  • including a percentage of the residual estate, or the entire residual estate to LSE, thereby protecting the estate’s value overtime;
  • leaving a specific monetary sum to LSE, also known as a pecuniary legacy;
  • leaving a specific item, for example property, valuable artworks, shares or other valuables.

I am not wealthy - can I still make a difference?

Absolutely. Legacy gifts are crucial to the future of the School and the success of our mission to make valuable contributions towards the betterment of society through academic rigour. Large or small, a gift in your Will can help to ensure that LSE’s important work is perpetuated for future generations.​

What are the tax benefits to leaving a legacy to LSE?

By UK law a 40 per cent tax is payable on estates worth over £325,000. For those who choose to leave 10 per cent or more of their estate to charity, the inheritance tax liability can be reduced from 40 per cent to 36 per cent. 

If you have valuable assets, such as property or other assets, that would push you above this threshold, including a gift to LSE in your Will could help reduce your tax liability, whilst creating a legacy that benefits future generations.

The HM Revenue and Customs website provides detailed information for calculating your potential tax liability, which you can access here. Alternatively use the simple tax liability checker at Legacy10  to see if you are effected by the changes to IHT law.

Your solicitor can advise further on Inheritance Tax.

What is LSE’s charitable status?

LSE is recognised as a charity by the Inland Revenue and pays no tax on gifts it receives, including bequests. It is incorporated in England as a company limited by guarantee under the Companies Acts (Reg. No. 70527, Inland Revenue No. X2401).​

What are the other ways I can make a planned gift?

There are a number of alternative ways you can support the School through a legacy gift.

Legacy Gifts through the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF)

Some of our donors who support a number of charities prefer the flexibility of leaving their legacy through CAF. By leaving a gift to CAF, donors are able to change their charity details without updating their Wills.

Life Insurance and company pensions

As an exempt charity, LSE can be nominated as a whole or joint beneficiary of a life insurance policy or company pension.

How do I include a gift to LSE in my Will?

The careful consideration of the wording in your Will helps to ensure that your interests are protected. We provide sample Will wording as a guide for you and your solicitor to discuss. The following details will also be useful for your solicitor:

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Houghton Street

LSE’s tax-exempt reference number: X2401.

The wording used in your Will is very important. When making or revising your Will, you should do so in consultation with your solicitor.​

How can I include a legacy gift to LSE for a specific purpose?

You are advised to speak with the School’s legacy officer, Viet-Anh Hua, to ensure that LSE is able to carry out your wishes.​​

How can I create a legacy gift in perpetuity?

In order to create a gift in perpetuity, also known as an endowment, you should be contemplating a significant gift of at least six figures, as that sum will be required to generate annual income of a sufficiently material size.

The School invests these funds in a total return endowment, using the interest and appreciation earned by that principal to support the School in general, or areas of most importance to you.

If you are considering an endowment, you are strongly encouraged to contact the School’s legacy officer, who can work with you to make sure that your gift carries out your wishes in the most effective way.

Can I include a legacy gift without updating my Will?

Including LSE in your estate plans without having to rewrite your Will is possible. Your solicitor is best placed to advise you on adding a codicil to your Will without having to re-write it.
See: What are the other ways I can make a planned gift?

Can LSE benefit from my life insurance and pension arrangements?

Yes - as an exempt charity, LSE can be nominated as a whole or joint beneficiary of a life insurance policy or company pension. It is important to nominate on the appropriate form who you would like to receive the benefits, which can be requested 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.​​

How can I include LSE in my Will if I live in Scotland or outside the UK?

The information included here on the technical aspects of making or altering a Will applies to the United Kingdom outside of Scotland, where the law differs in a number of respects. If you are resident in Scotland, a local solicitor will be able to advise on Scottish probate law.

If you live outside the UK, you are strongly advised to consult a solicitor in your country of residence on how to make a legacy to the School under local probate law and tax regulations.

Residents in the US may include LSE in their Will directly without negative tax implications. Taxable estates will qualify for an estate tax charitable deduction since LSE is a qualified exempt charity.

Where can I find a solicitor?

Family and friends may be in a position to recommend a good solicitor. Alternately, if you live in the UK you can find a local solicitor via The Law Society or through The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

The above links are provided for your reference and convenience only, and do not imply an endorsement of material on third-party sites or any association with the owners or operators of those sites. ​

As an executor with a bequest to LSE in a Will, how do I pay the money to the School?

We would be pleased to accept cheques made payable to the ‘London School of Economics’. Alternately, bequests, particularly those from overseas can be made by bank transfer if preferred. Correspondence relating to the payment of bequests should be sent to:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7955 7159

I require more information about legacy giving. Whom do I contact?

Please contact LSE’s legacy officer, Viet-Anh Hua, on +44 (0)20 7852 3654 or at

What is LSE’s Legacy Circle?

LSE is keen to recognise and thank its supporters. If you’ve already included LSE in your Will, please accept the School’s sincere gratitude. By formally making your intentions known to LSE’s legacy officer, you will become a member of LSE’s Legacy Circle. The Legacy Circle ensures that you are involved in the life of LSE and membership includes an annual lunch, receipt of our bi-annual newsletter, and invitations throughout the year to exhibitions and events.

Legacies can be a sensitive matter and the School appreciates that not everyone is in a position to inform us of their plans. Such supporters are valued no less, and you are invited to get in touch with Viet-Anh Hua from the Development team on +44 (0)20 7852 3654 or at to discuss confidentially how you can be included in the communications and activities that suit your personal circumstances.​

Will people know I have left a gift?

Unless a written request is made to the contrary, all legacy gifts, small and large, are recognised in our bi-annual donor magazine, Impact. 

How do you recognise legacy gifts once they are realised?

Please visit our Legator recognition page to learn more about how we recognise the valuable contribution made by alumni and friends of the School. 


The content of this page does not constitute legal advice, and when making or revising your Will, you should do so in consultation with your solicitor.