Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I write a Will?

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.
  • 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
  • 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.

What gift can I leave?

Once you’ve taken care of family and loved ones, there are three main types of gift you can leave;

  • A share/percentage of what’s left over from your estate after other gifts and expenses have been paid. This type of gift is hugely valuable to LSE as they tend to maintain or increase in value overtime. Even a small percentage can have deliver huge impact.
  • A specific cash amount
  • A specific item such as property, valuable artwork or stocks and shares that we would sell.

Will inheritance tax apply?

A gift to LSE does not attract any tax as it is a recognised charity. In the UK currently, the value of your gift is deducted from the estate’s value before inheritance tax is calculated. Inheritance Tax rules can change, so it is always best to seek legal advice to discuss the contents of your Will.

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. 

The HM Revenue and Customs website provides detailed information for calculating your potential tax liability, which you can access here.

Your solicitor can advise further on Inheritance Tax.

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

LSE can be nominated as a whole, joint or partial beneficiary of a life insurance policy or company pension.

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

Please talk to our Legacies Manager, if you wish to express a specific direction for  your legacy gift.

Viet-Anh Hua – Legacies Manager

Tel: +44 (0)20 7852 3654

How can I create a legacy gift in perpetuity?

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.If you are considering an endowment, you are encouraged to talk to the School’s Legacies Manager  who can work with you to ensure your gift carries out your wishes in the most effective way.

Viet-Anh Hua – Legacies Manager

Tel: +44 (0)20 7852 3654

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 how to add a codicil to your Will without having to re-write it. LSE can also benefit from a life insurance and/or company pension which sits outside of your Will.

LSE can be nominated as a whole, joint or partial 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.

  • Residents outwith the UK: please consult a solicitor in your country of residence on how to make a legacy gift 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 charity. Your attorney can advise.
  • Residents in Canada: LSE is prescribed by Canada Revenue Agency as a charitable organisation outside Canada. 

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

We are pleased to accept cheques made payable to the ‘London School of Economics’.

Cheques should be sent to:

Donations Team
LSE Philanthropy and Global Engagement
Houghton Street 

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 7852 3654

Will people know I have left a gift?

Only if you give us permission to list your name publicly in our communications. We currently list new Legacy Circle members in our donor publication, Impact.

How to find a solicitor and other useful resources

Citizens Advice: advice on Will making and why it’s important the basics of Will making the basics of inheritance tax
The Law Society: locate a solicitor in England and Wales
The Law Society of Scotland: locate a solicitor in Scotland
The Law Society of Northern Ireland: locate a solicitor in Northern Ireland

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.