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A gift in your will

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A gift in your will

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A gift in your will

Over three quarters of a century ago, Samuel Courtauld, Robert Witt and Viscount Lee of Fareham came together to bequeath the collections that were the founding of The Courtauld. Other important bequests were to follow. The Courtauld’s original benefactors established a centre for excellence for teaching, learning and research in the history of art, resourced by some of the finest private art and library collections in the world.

Few, if any of us, possess a private art and library collection to rival Samuel Courtauld, Robert Witt and Viscount Lee’s combined collections, but absolutely anyone can remember The Courtauld with a gift in their will. Government funding and tuition fees only provide for just over half our financial needs and so we depend on donations from individuals to help us cover our costs.

All legacy gifts – no matter what size – are immensely important to us and we guarantee to only use them where they were intended. You might be thinking of leaving a donation in your will to a specific campaign or aspect of our work that is special to you. We would be very happy to discuss this with you, so that you can be reassured that we will be able to put your generous gift to its best use in an area that means most to you.

What your legacy gift could achieve

Every gift in every will makes a difference. Your legacy gift could help us…

  • Ensure long-term financial viability and enable The Courtauld to rise to the challenges of the future, meet emerging needs and undertake critical new initiatives;
  • Strengthen The Courtauld’s work, sustain its margin of excellence, and reinforce its leadership position;
  • Attract and retain the highest quality students and faculty;
  • Advance the intellectual growth of its community;
  • Preserve, care for and display the world-class collections.

Government support for higher education and for cultural institutions has not kept pace with the rising costs of maintaining academic excellence. In 2013/14, the government funded 23% of The Courtauld’s £13.4 million annual budget. Student tuition fees provided 27%, research income was 5% and other income (such as income from the Gallery and shop) 17%. The rest of our budget, 28%, comes from private philanthropic sources such as gifts from those who remember The Courtauld Institute of Art in their will.

Your legacy gift could fund a scholarship for a budding art historian, conservator or curator; it could pay for a workshop for state school students to learn more about studying art history; or it could help us rebind and repair books from our Book Library collections or conserve one of our Gallery’s masterpieces. Wherever your gift is spent, your legacy will help to ensure The Courtauld’s continued and significant contribution to creating access to the visual arts.

Your professional adviser can advise you how to make a straightforward gift to The Courtauld Institute of Art for general purposes. This way, The Courtauld can use your gift where it is needed the most. The majority of our members and supporters make their donation in this way because such gifts allow The Courtauld’s Board of Governors to carefully consider how to make the best use of your gift to meet the changing priorities of the time.

How to leave a gift

We always recommend that you use a professional adviser to have your will drafted or updated. The cost is relatively modest and properly drafted will means that your wishes will be honoured, thereby minimising the potential for disputes and potential drain on the value of your estate. We also recommend that you talk with your family or friends about your wish for The Courtauld (or any other charity or good cause) to benefit from your will. Again, this can minimise the potential for disputes.

  1. Appoint a professional adviser – usually a solicitor or bank
    • Although it is possible to write a will without a solicitor’s help, this is generally not advisable as there are various legal formalities you need to follow to make sure that your will is valid. Without the help of an expert, there’s a real risk you could make a mistake, which could cause problems for your family and friends after your death. You can find a solicitor in your area through The Law Society website. The Law Society provides independent advice on topics such as choosing a solicitor and probate as well as making a will. The cost of using a solicitor varies depending on how complicated your will is and where in the country you live. The solicitor should make it clear from the start how much they will charge.
  2. Work out how much you have to leave, including the total sum of your property, money and possessions, less any outstanding mortgages or loans.
  3. Decide who you want to benefit from your will. For example, your family, friends and favourite charities or good causes.
  4. Choose Executors to make sure your wishes are carried out. These can be professional advisers, friends or family members – or one of each.
  5. Finally, keep your will safe and make sure your Executors know where to find it. Give one copy to your solicitor or bank.

If you have already made your will and you would like to amend it to include a gift to The Courtauld, ask your solicitor about using a codicil form. This is an easy way to amend your will, without having to completely rewrite it.

The Courtauld Institute of Art can’t recommend a particular professional adviser, but if you need any general advice on choosing a professional then you can contact us for advice.

Important information for your bequest

If you do decide to leave a gift to The Courtauld, you simply need to include the following information:

  • Our full name
    • The Courtauld Institute of Art
  • Our registered address
    • Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN
  • Our exempt charity reference
    • XR60596
Information For Professional Advisors and Executors

Being an executor

When somebody close to you dies, it can be helpful to get advice and support to help you deal with your loss. As such you may find it helpful to visit Directgov, the UK government’s information website. Their ‘Death and bereavement’ pages include advice on who to turn to for bereavement support; information on wills and probate; as well as practical help about what to do after a death.
Even during this difficult time, acting as an Executor can be a very rewarding and comforting experience as you will be carrying out your loved one’s last wishes. Please do contact us at any time if you need to. We will do our very best to help.

Administration of legacies

For all enquiries regarding the administration of legacies to The Courtauld Institute of Art, please contact Jennifer Seymour, Individual Campaigns and Legacies Manager using the details below:

Jennifer Seymour
Individual Campaigns and Legacies Manager

The Courtauld Institute of Art
Somerset House
Strand, London WC2R 0RN

+44 (0) 20 3751 0544

Email: Jennifer.Seymour@courtauld.ac.uk

The Courtauld’s charitable status

The Courtauld Institute of Art is an exempt charity under the Exempt Charities Order 2002. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs have accepted that The Courtauld Institute of Art is a charity for tax purposes under the reference XR60596. The Courtauld Institute of Art Fund is a registered charity, registration number 288509.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I leave a legacy to The Courtauld in my will, does that mean that my family and friends aren’t looked after when I am gone?

If you care about what happens to your property after you die, regardless of whether you leave a legacy to The Courtauld or not, you should make a will. Without one, the State directs who inherits, so your family and friends may get nothing. The most important thing to consider when writing a will is how your loved ones are looked after.

After your family and friends have been considered, you may wish to leave a legacy to The Courtauld Institute of Art. One way of doing this is to talk to your professional adviser about how to include a residuary legacy to The Courtauld. This is a percentage of your estate after everyone else has been taken care of. You can read more about residuary legacies below.

If you do decide to include The Courtauld Institute of Art in your will, we recommend that you talk with your family or friends about your wish for The Courtauld (or any other charity or good cause) to benefit from your will. This can minimise the potential for disputes.


I don’t own any valuable works of art. What type of legacy can I leave to The Courtauld?

Absolutely anyone can remember The Courtauld with a gift in their will. Government funding and tuition fees only provide for just over half our financial needs and so we depend on donations from individuals to help us cover our costs – gifts of all sizes make a difference.


I have an object (for example a painting, drawing, print, sculpture, work of decorative art, book, periodical or exhibition catalogue) that I want to leave to The Courtauld. How do I do this?

If you are considering leaving an object to The Courtauld, we would strongly encourage you to please contact us to discuss your plans. Naturally, we will treat any such discussions with the strictest confidence and we will only involve appropriate staff from within The Courtauld (for example The Head of The Courtauld Gallery or Head of Book, Witt and Conway Libraries) with discretion.

Once you have discussed your plans with us and you are ready to make the arrangements to leave us a suitable object in your will, please consider leaving a monetary donation alongside this gift. There is an ongoing annual programme of maintenance, upgrades and repairs needed for The Courtauld Gallery as well as the Book, Witt and Conway Libraries, crucial to ensuring the wellbeing of the collections. Costs include the environmental control system, heating, security, fire protection, painting and preservation.


I would like to leave a legacy to The Courtauld Institute of Art. How do I do this?

When writing a will it is important to seek professional advice.

Although it is possible to write a will without a solicitor’s help, this is generally not advisable as there are various legal formalities you need to follow to make sure that your will is valid.

Without the help of an expert, there’s a real risk you could make a mistake, which could cause problems for your family and friends after your death.


What details do I need in order to include The Courtauld Institute of Art in my will?

When including a legacy to The Courtauld Institute of Art it is very important to include our full name, our exempt charity reference XR60596 and the correct registered address:

The Courtauld Institute of Art
Somerset House
Strand
London WC2R 0RN

The Courtauld Institute of Art is an exempt charity under the Exempt Charities Order 2002. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs have accepted that The Courtauld Institute of Art is a charity for tax purposes under the reference XR60596. This means your gift will be exempt from inheritance tax.


I’d like to restrict my legacy to a specific area of The Courtauld’s work (for example a particular research project or the conservation of a particular painting). How can I do this?

It is best for us if gifts are made unconditionally. The majority of our supporters make their donation in this way because such gifts allow The Courtauld’s Board of Governors to consider carefully how to make the best use of each gift to meet the changing priorities of the time.

Of course, we completely understand if you would prefer your gift to support a certain area of our work. We recommend that you get in touch with us to discuss your intentions, so that we can ensure that the wording of your will allows us to use your gift as you intended.


What kind of legacy gift would be most valuable to The Courtauld?

If you’re in two minds about what kind of gift to leave to us, a share of your estate (a residuary gift, please see below for details) normally holds its value over time.


What is a residuary legacy?

A residuary legacy is a gift of the remainder of your estate, or a percentage, after all other legacies have been made and debts have been cleared. Residuary legacies keep pace with inflation and are an effective way to divide the value of an estate between a number of people and causes.


What is a pecuniary legacy?

A pecuniary legacy is a gift in your will of a fixed sum on money. The value of pecuniary legacies could decrease over time, as the cost of living increases.

For example, if a 60 year old person made a will in 1982 and included a pecuniary legacy of £23,644 (the average house price in 1982) it would not be enough to buy a house if that person died 25 years later (when the average house price was £194,362).


What is a specific legacy?

A particular named item left as a gift in your will is known as a specific legacy. If you are considering leaving an object to The Courtauld, please see the ‘I have an object…’ question above. We would strongly encourage you to please contact us to discuss your plans.


What about the tax benefits?

There can be tax benefits to leaving a gift in your will to charities such as The Courtauld Institute of Art. Your professional advisor will be able to tell you more and you may also find the ‘Inheritance Tax’ section of the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) website helpful.


Can I change my mind about leaving a legacy The Courtauld Institute of Art?

Yes. Even if you have told us that you are planning to leave a legacy to The Courtauld, you are completely free to change your will at any time. You do not even have to let The Courtauld know that you have changed your plans, although of course we would be grateful if you did let us know so that we can update our records.

If you have been prompted to change your will because of a change within The Courtauld, perhaps a change in personnel or change to The Courtauld’s mission, please contact us to tell us about your concerns. Of course, you may be prompted to change your will because of a happy circumstance such as the birth of a child or grandchild and if this is the case you should feel assured that we will completely understand when you contact us to let us know. The most important thing to consider when writing a will is how your loved ones are looked after.

Contact us

For all enquiries regarding legacies to The Courtauld Institute of Art, please contact Jennifer Seymour using the details below.

Jennifer Seymour – Individual Campaigns and Legacies Manager
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3751 0544
Email: jennifer.seymour@courtauld.ac.uk

Alternatively, you may download, print and return the form below.

Get in touch with us

Our Pledger Programme

As a small way of saying thank you to our committed supporters who have generously let us know that they have included a gift to us in their will, we like to keep in touch with our biannual publication, The Courtauld News, and invitations to special events. We would like to be able to include you in this vital community of supporters, so that we can say thank you.

Although we fully appreciate that it is a very personal and private matter, letting us know when you have included the The Courtauld in your will is extremely helpful to us as it enables us to plan for the future. It also allows us to thank you in your lifetime and show you how your gift could make a difference. Please be assured that any information you give to us will always be treated in the strictest confidence

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