How to leave a legacy

Anyone can leave a legacy to the Friends and it doesn’t have to be for a lot of money.
The Friends are the London Transport Museum’s largest donors and gave £700,000 to support the Museum and its transformation at Covent Garden. If you wish to ensure that the Friends are able to continue their work of supporting the Museum and securing the future of London’s transport heritage, why not include a legacy in your will that will help the Friends for many more years to come? Legacies really can be that important.
Donations are a major source of income and form the foundation of securing the future of the unique collection of vehicles and other artefacts in the London Transport Museum and adding to them in the future.


We need legacies:

  • To ensure the continued existence and operation of historic road and rail vehicles in
    the Museum’s collection.
  • To maintain vehicles in a condition in which the travelling public can not only view
    but travel on the Museum’s road and rail vehicles.
  • To undertake the future restoration of static and operational exhibits both road and

About legacies

Can I leave a legacy to the Friends?

The London Transport Museum Friends is a registered charity (285108) and was founded to support the work of the London Transport Museum.


Can you advise on appropriate wording to put into my will to include a legacy to the Friends?

In view of the possible complications of inheritance tax (IHT), we strongly advise you to consult a solicitor or other qualified professional adviser to advise on making your will and how best to mitigate the effects of IHT. We suggest below some suitable wording for you to pass to your professional adviser. You are strongly recommended to consult a professional adviser on the wording of legacy clauses in your will.


Can I avoid or reduce inheritance tax with a legacy to the Friends?

With the relatively high value of houses nowadays, this can be a real concern for people who might not think of themselves as being ‘wealthy’, and a gift to the Friends in your will can be an effective way to reduce inheritance tax. In the United Kingdom, no IHT is paid on the first £325,000 of assets in your estate (2018/19). This is known as the nil rate band. In certain circumstances this figure is increased by what is termed the residence nil-rate band.Thereafter, except for gifts that are exempt from tax, the balance will be liable to IHT at 40%. Included within this figure are gifts made within seven years of death, unless they were also made for exempt purposes such as gifts to charities. IHT must be paid before anyone else can benefit. That means tax of £30,000 would be paid on an estate of £400,000. An unlimited exemption applies for UK domiciled persons on outright gifts to a UK registered charity either during your lifetime or on death. As a registered charity gifts to the Friends qualify for this exemption. Gifts may be of cash or other assets such as property or personal effects but you cannot reserve any form of benefit for yourself, as the donor, or for any other person such as your family. Special rules apply if you leave at least 10% of your estate to charities, which means that if HMRC’s requirements are met the rate at which inheritance tax is payable is reduced from 40% to 36%.


Can you tell me what the difference is between a pecuniary, a specific and a residuary bequest?

A pecuniary bequest is a gift of money.

A specific bequest is a gift of a specific item such as a piece of railway-ana or books that you would like to bequeath. A residuary bequest is a gift of all or part of the remainder of your estate once all other disposals have been made.


Where should I keep my will and can I give a copy to anyone for safekeeping?

It is important that your will is left in a safe place and that your intended executors are aware of the will’s existence and whereabouts. It is also wise to ask the proposed executor to confirm that they are willing to carry out this duty. You may wish to leave the original will with your solicitor or bank, as well as holding a copy yourself. From time to time, you should review your will to make sure that it still accurately reflects your wishes and takes account of recent events in your life, like additions to your family, or retirement. Remember that the value of money falls over time and a cash amount may no longer adequately represent your intentions when you made the original will.


Can I find out what the Friends spend legacy income on?

Take a look at the Museum website ( to see the scope of the Museum’s collection that requires regular funding.


Can I choose what my legacy is spent on?

We always welcome legacies that can be used for general funds so that we can meet our most urgent needs. However, we are also very happy to accept gifts for a particular use or purpose. That means you can choose how your money is spent – perhaps on a favourite bus or Underground train. It is advisable to give the Friends some discretion on how we can use the funds as it is possible that the intended purpose is no longer possible or practicable, or if the funding for a particular project has been fully subscribed by the time of your death. Where this occurs, the Friends will look to use the funds for a similar objective.


Can I be sure that you will spend my legacy according to my wishes?

Wherever possible, we will respect and act upon your wishes, providing what you have requested is still possible and does not conflict with Friends’ policy. A legacy towards the maintenance of a particular bus or item of Underground rolling stock could be frustrated by events outside the Friends’ control. Ultimately, if what you request is too restrictive, it may be necessary to turn down the bequest.


Can I choose how much to leave? Must it be a large amount?

We welcome all gifts – large or small. Remember gifts to the Friends are tax free, so where tax is otherwise payable, the cost to your family may only be 60% of the amount given. Some people leave us gifts of money. Others leave us all or part of the residue of their estate once family and friends have been looked after. Whether you give the Friends £200, £2,000, £20,000 or more, your gift will be very welcome.


How to include the Friends in your will

The only way to be sure your wishes will be carried out is to leave them in a valid will. Although will forms can be purchased at stationers or downloaded from the internet, it is easy to make mistakes which make your will invalid or mean your wishes may not be carried out. Professional help may cost less than you think and will ensure that your will is valid. Wherever the estate is in excess of the threshold for inheritance tax, it is advisable to seek professional advice. The costs may then be substantially higher but this may save a significant amount of tax where this can be reduced or eliminated with the right advice. It’s never too early to make a will and it’s easy to make changes to your will to reflect your changing circumstances.


Guidelines for making your will

  • It is best to start by working out the value of your estate and how much you have available to leave to your chosen beneficiaries after any tax has been paid. This should include the value of your property, investments, money and personal possessions, less any outstanding mortgages or loans.
  •  Choose executors who you can trust to carry out your wishes. An executor can be a friend or family member – or you may wish to appoint a qualified professional adviser such as a solicitor. Remember that professional executors will normally charge for their services.
  • Decide who you wish to benefit from your will; your family, friends and favourite charities, for example.
  • Remember that if you give a specific high value item to a particular beneficiary, they may have to pay the tax on this unless it is stated to be free of tax, when the tax will be paid from the residue of your estate. In this case, there may be insufficient funds remaining to deal with the remainder of your bequests.
  • Finally, keep your original will in a safe place and ensure that your executors know where to find it.


Updating an existing will

It is vital to review your will at regular intervals to ensure that it still reflects your wishes and circumstances. For instance, if you move house or get married – or someone mentioned in your will dies – you may need to change this. Remember, any changes to a will must always be witnessed correctly for these to be valid. Ask your professional adviser if it is necessary to change your will as some changes may be covered in the wording in the will, such as the birth of additional grandchildren.


How to word your will

Pecuniary bequest

“I give free of tax to the London Transport Museum Friends (charity registered in England, number 285108) of the Friends Office, London Transport Museum, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7BB, the sum of £________ for the general purposes of the Friends and I declare that the receipt of its treasurer or other proper officer shall be a full and sufficient discharge.”


Residuary bequest

“Subject to the payment of my debts, funeral and testamentary expenses, I give the whole/____% of my estate not otherwise disposed of by this my will to the London Transport Museum Friends (charity registered in England, number 285108) of the Friends Office, London Transport Museum, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7BB for the general purposes of the Friends and I declare that the receipt of its treasurer or other proper officer shall be a full and sufficient discharge.”

If you wish to take advantage of the special rules to reduce the rate of inheritance tax from 40% to 36% it is essential to take professional advice.


Project specific addition

“I request that if possible these funds should be applied to the maintenance and/or refurbishment of __________.” (e.g. a specific vehicle)


Appeal specific addition

“I request that if possible these fundsshould be used for the purposes for which _________ (appeal) was established.”


Thank you for considering the London Transport Museum Friends in your plans.



Richard Browning

London Transport Museum Friends

Albany House, 98 Petty France, London SW1H 9EA

020 7126 1058