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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Leaving a Legacy

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    Shaping the Future - Remembering Murray Edwards College in your Will

    Legacies form the foundation of many educational institutions and bequests are still vital in continuing their important work. Murray Edwards College is no exception. By remembering the College in your Will, you're ensuring that talented young women will continue to benefit from a world class education whatever their background or their resources. It will help us continue to foster the highest standards of teaching and research, enrich the experience of our students, and strengthen our endowment.

    "My three years at New Hall (now Murray Edwards) benefited my life, both personally and professionally, in many ways and continue to have an impact. It was an easy decision to leave a legacy in my will, so that other young women can have the opportunities I had, at this unique and much valued College." Hazel Wright (NH 1975, Law)

    Types of Legacy

    There are several common forms of legacy. We strongly recommend that you seek professional advice in deciding which is the most appropriate for you. Find a solicitor.


    A pecuniary legacy specifies a sum of money. Although many people choose to leave a fixed sum, inflation can erode the value of this gift and might not reflect changes in the overall value of your estate. You might want to link the sum to the Retail Price Index or set aside a percentage of your estate, rather than a fixed sum.


    The residue of an estate is what is left after all other bequests, taxes and debts have been settled. The benefit to a charity like us is that the value of your legacy will increase with the value of your estate.


    This type of legacy means you can provide for your loved ones during their lifetime, giving them the use of a home or other assets, which would pass, on their death, to the College.


    Legacies can also take the form of non-cash gifts, such as stocks and shares, works of art and other possessions.  Sometimes the items may be kept by the College, in other cases the College may wish to realise the monetary value.


    A typical form of wording for your Will might be:

    "I give to the President and Fellows of Murray Edwards College, founded as New Hall, in the University of Cambridge (Registered Charity number 1137530, Inland Revenue reference X86888), [bequest] to be used for the general purposes of the College. The receipt of the Bursar of the College shall be sufficient to discharge to my executors."

    If you would like your gift to be used for a specific purpose, it would be better to express your wish without stipulating it as a binding obligation. This means the College will have the flexibility to use its discretion in making the best possible use of your gift, while still carrying out your wishes as closely as possible, in line with the needs of the College.

    Tax Benefits

    Inheritance tax is currently payable at 40% on estates of over £325,000 (tax year 2013-14). Murray Edwards College is a registered charity (1137530), which means that all legacy gifts to the College are exempt from Inheritance Tax.

    A new provision passed into UK tax law in April 2012 benefits charities further at a modest cost to potential donors. The UK Government is encouraging taxpayers to leave 10% (or more) of their net estate to charity; as an incentive the tax charged on the remainder of their taxable estate will be reduced from 40% to 36%.

    Everyone's tax situation is different and we always recommend you seek individual advice from your financial or legal advisor. 

    Informing the College

    The College recognises that giving through a Will is a very personal matter and it may be that you do not wish to inform the College in your lifetime. It is equally understood that dispositions made in a Will can change accordingly over time. However, it is useful for us to have an indication of future legacies to the College, so that we can plan for the future - but also so that we can express our gratitude during your lifetime.

    For further information or an initial discussion about leaving a legacy to the College, please contact the Development office.

    Thank you for your support

    Murray Edwards College is a Registered Charity (No. 1137530)