If Abingdon has a place in your heart, could you find a place for us in your Will?

Many former pupils, teachers and parents have extremely fond memories of their involvement with Abingdon School and support the School by giving time as volunteers and by giving money as donors.

Moreover, many of those who donate to Abingdon, do so to support bursaries. Their generosity over the years has given Abingdon the confidence to set an ambitious goal for our bursary provision - that of doubling the number of pupils on bursaries by 2025, from 60 to 120. To achieve this goal, approximately £10 million will need to be raised over the next ten years - hence, the name of our 10-in-10 Bursary Appeal.

One way to do this is through legacies (also known as bequests). A legacy is a gift left in one’s Will; thus it is a gift that is given after one's lifetime, which makes it an easier, and potentially more substantial, gift to make. There are several types of legacies, and Abingdon School has benefited from many generous past legacies made by alumni, parents, teachers and governors.

We appreciate that the needs of family and friends must be provided for in your Will before considering leaving a legacy to Abingdon, but after you have made such provisions, please do think of us! Even a modest percentage of the residue of your estate can make a considerable difference.

If you are considering leaving a legacy to Abingdon, there are three simple steps to take:

1. Estimate the likely value of your estate and decide on your beneficiaries

Beneficiaries are the people or organisations (including charities, such as Abingdon School) to whom you wish to leave property, possessions or money in your Will. Knowing the likely value of your estate will help you to decide what you might leave to each beneficiary.

2. Visit a qualified solicitor to draw up your Will (or add a codicil to an existing Will)

Include appropriate legacies for each of your beneficiaries, and decide if you would like your legacy to Abingdon School to be used where it is most needed (as decided by the School at the time of receipt) or for a specific purpose, such as for bursaries. If you would like to leave a legacy for a specific purpose other than for bursaries, we ask that you or your solicitor telephone us to discuss how best to accommodate your interests. As you can imagine, the needs and priorities of Abingdon School can evolve and change over time, and should your legacy be restricted for a use that is not relevant at the time your Will comes into effect, it might be very difficult, or even impossible, to benefit from your generosity.

3. Inform us that you have made a legacy provision for Abingdon

We believe that recognition of a legacy should not be limited to remembrance alone, but also celebrated during your lifetime. By informing us of your legacy, we can thank you, ask you how you might like to be recognised, and invite you to join the John Roysse Society, Abingdon’s legacy donor group. Membership of this Society includes a special gift and invitations to periodic Society events.

We appreciate that making or amending your will is a private matter; however, should you like more information about leaving a legacy to Abingdon, please contact us. Your contact is strictly confidential and does not obligate you in any way.

Should you wish to let us know that you plan to include – or have already included – Abingdon in your will, you may use a legacy pledge form. Read the stories of others who have already made a legacy provision for bursaries in their Will.

You are, of course, free to change your mind at any time and amend or revoke a legacy made in your Will, so letting us know of your present legacy intention is not an irreversible commitment; if you do change your mind, just let us know.

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There are many types of legacies from which to choose:

  • You can leave Abingdon School a fixed sum of money, of any size.
  • You can leave Abingdon School a particular item, such as land, buildings, shares, house contents (e.g. furniture) or personal belongings (e.g. artwork or jewellery).
  • You can leave Abingdon School the whole or a part of what is left in your estate ('the residue') after you have provided generously for your beneficiaries and paid off all expenses, debts, and taxes.

If these three options don't make sense for you, consider two more:

  • You can leave Abingdon School money, property, or the residue of your estate only if other named beneficiaries in your Will predecease you.
  • You can leave Abingdon School money, property, or the residue of your estate only after named beneficiaries in your Will have died.

Whatever your personal situation, there is at least one type of legacy that should work for you.

A legacy also confers significant tax advantages. Legacies left to charities, such as Abingdon School, are exempt from Inheritance Tax, and if, in your will, you give to charity at least 10% of the value of your estate, the Inheritance Tax rate applied to the taxable portion of your estate (currently assets in excess of £325,000 - the nil rate band*) reduces from 40% to 36%. Legacies left to charities, such as Abingdon School, which include property that has gained in value since first acquired is also exempt from Capital Gains Tax (usually 18% or 28%, depending on your tax band) on the portion of that gain which is in excess of the annual tax-free allowance.

*this amount will be reduced by the value of certain gifts made during the seven years prior to death and will be increased by the value of the unused portion of the nil rate band of a spouse or civil partner upon their death.

Remember a Charity is part of the UK Institute of Fundraising and offers advice to those thinking about making a will.

Each November, you can use a local solicitor who has signed up to Will Aid to make your Will and, instead of paying a solicitor’s fee, you can make a donation to one of nine leading charities. The suggested donation is £95 for a basic Will or £150 for a pair of basic mirror Wills.

Don't delay… the major consequence of dying without a Will is that your wishes for how your family and friends should inherit will not be realised. This is because, when a person dies without a valid Will (called 'intestacy'), their estate (property) must be shared out according to certain rules set by the Crown. These are called the rules of intestacy. The result may be very different from what you had in mind. Read about intestacy from the Citizens Advice Bureau and HMRC.

If you are an executor of a Will containing a legacy for Abingdon School, you may find these guidance notes useful.

Note: This page provides general information about ways you can leave a legacy to Abingdon School and tax relief for which you may be eligible. All information given is current as at the date of the web page. Before applying this general information to your own specific situation, please seek the advice of an independent professional adviser.