Leave a gift in your will

Having made provision for loved ones, many people choose to support charities with a gift in their will.

What is a legacy?

We hope you love the cathedral and want it to be around for many centuries to come.

A "legacy" or "bequest" is an investment in the future; and everything we do at Durham Cathedral aims to preserve and share the unique story of this place for future generations.

A legacy is also a tax-efficient form of "giving back" to a cause you cherish. The cathedral's charitable status means that legacies are entirely free from inheritance tax.

Occasionally, the cathedral receives transformative gifts over £10,000. These legacies are recorded in our Liber Vitae ("Book of Life"), a customary way of celebrating benefactors since the Middle Ages.

Types of Legacy

Like any gift, a legacy can be directed towards a specific interest, for the cathedral to use in the area of greatest need (i.e. without conditions attached) or to be restricted to a specific interest, such as conservation, riverbanks, library and collections, or music.

It is possible to make different kinds of charitable provision in a will and a solicitor is best placed to offer advice concerning the appropriate wording:

  • Residual legacy - all or part of someone's estate after other gifts, debits, taxes and expenses have been paid.
  • Pecuniary legacy - a specific sum of money.
  • Specific gift - personal possessions, such as property, jewellery, antiques, artworks, stocks and shares, etc.
  • Reversionary legacy - assets, such as property, to which someone else has rights during their lifetime.
  • Conditional legacy - all or part of someone's estate if they are not survived by named dependents.
  • Deed of variation - all or part of an inheritance received as the beneficiary of another will.

If a will has already been written, a legacy to the cathedral can be added in the form of a codicil.

Get in touch

If you would like to discuss making a gift to the cathedral in your will, the Development Team would love to hear from you. Email us at development@durhamcathedral.co.uk

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