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Leave a Legacy

Gifts by will can help the College in many ways: by helping to build our endowment, endowing Fellowships, establishing scholarships, supporting the Library or helping to fund our flourishing clubs, societies and sports teams.

Over 200 Old Members and friends of the College, aged between 28 and 98, have already chosen to leave a legacy to Balliol in their will. As a way of thanking them during their lifetime, we have created the Greville Smith Society, named in honour of one of our most generous legators, Harold Greville Smith, who read Chemistry at Balliol in the 1920s.

There may be tax advantages to your estate to include a bequest to Balliol in your will, notably if you live in the UK, USA or Canada. Please contact your financial advisor or accountant for further information about this point. You may find it helpful to know that Balliol is a registered charity in England and Wales (No. 1144032).

For more information, download our legacy guide, along with the legacy pledge form and example codicil.

If you wish to discuss a bequest, or if you have already included Balliol in your will, please email Andrew Murton, Head of Development Operations, or call +44 (0)1865 277690.

Formulations for a bequest

UK formulation

I give to the Master and Scholars of Balliol College in the University of Oxford ___with the request that it be used for the benefit of the General Endowment Fund/with the request that it be used for such purposes in connection with Balliol College as the trustees in their absolute discretion think fit/with the request that the funds be used for ___. I direct that the receipt of the Master for the time being of the College or a College Officer designated by the Master shall be a sufficient discharge to my executors.

Please let Andrew Murton know if you wish to discuss making a bequest for a particular purpose (for example, to support a Fellowship). As times change unpredictably, the most useful bequests are those for 'the general educational purposes of the College'.

The College particularly welcomes gifts of the residue of an estate (or a specified proportion), as the value of this type of benefaction is unaffected by inflation. A gift of a specified sum of money (known as a pecuniary bequest) and a bequest of a particular item (known as a specific bequest) are of course welcome, although it should be borne in mind that the value of a pecuniary bequest decreases with inflation.

You may find it helpful to know that Balliol is a registered charity in England and Wales (No. 1144032). This means that gifts by will to Balliol are completely free of inheritance tax.

USA details and formulations

There may be significant estate tax benefits if you include a bequest to Balliol in your will, and you should seek specific guidance on this issue from your attorney or other advisors. The University of Oxford (and its colleges) is exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The organisation is also recognised as not a private foundation under Section 509(a)(1). The organisation has been specifically clarified as a public charity described in Section 170(b)(1)(A)(ii) of the Code.

If you or your advisors wish to discuss any issues relating to tax in relation to a bequest to Balliol, please contact the University of Oxford's office in New York, who should be able to provide answers to any specific queries. Please send enquiries to: Americans for Oxford, Inc., 500 Fifth Avenue, 32nd Floor, New York, NY 10110. Tel: (212) 377 4900. Fax: (212) 889 4052, email: gifts@oxfordna.org.

Oxford Planned Giving is a consortium of around 30 colleges and the University, which has been created to help alumni in the USA meet their personal needs and maximise the impact of their gifts to Oxford. It offers the following gift vehicles: Charitable Remainder Unitrust; Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust; and Charitable Lead Trust. 

Formulation for a residuary bequest

All (or ___%) of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate which I may own or be entitled to at the time of my death, I give, devise and bequeath to the Master and Scholars of Balliol College in the University of Oxford exclusively for its charitable and educational purposes.

Formulation for an outright bequest

I give and bequeath to the Master and Scholars of Balliol College in the University of Oxford the sum of ___ dollars exclusively for its charitable and educational purposes.

Formulation for a bequest of property

Some forms of property have uses that may make them valuable to Balliol in their present form. Others may be of greater value to Balliol if it sells them and uses the proceeds for endowment. Suggested language for a bequest of property is as follows:

I hereby give my [full description of item and location] to the Master and Scholars of Balliol College in the University of Oxford exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. If, after diligent evaluation of the property, it appears to the Master and Scholars to be impractical to maintain the property for educational purposes, I authorise the sale or disposition of the property at their sole discretion.

Other forms of bequest

A contingent bequest stipulates that Balliol will receive a portion of the estate only if one or more of the beneficiaries fail to survive you.

A Testamentary Trust is established by will at the time of death and uses all or a portion of the estate to care for one or more beneficiaries. Upon the death of the surviving beneficiaries, the principal passes to Balliol.

Further guidance

Please let Andrew Murton know if you decide to include a bequest to Balliol in your will. Please also contact him if you wish to discuss making a bequest for a particular purpose (for example, to support a Fellowship). As times change unpredictably, the most useful bequests are those for the general educational purposes of the College.

The College particularly welcomes gifts of the residue of an estate (or a specified proportion), as the value of this type of benefaction is unaffected by inflation. A gift of a specified sum of money is of course extremely welcome, although it should be borne in mind that the value of such a bequest decreases with inflation unless a will is kept up-to-date.