The College welcomes gifts by bequest, of any sum, to support any aspect of its life and work.  It especially welcomes money left for its general purposes, for investment with the income applied wherever it is most needed. Such generosity enables the College to command its own resources as needs and opportunities, at present unforeseeable, may demand. But you can be sure that the needs will not diminish, and nor will the College’s gratitude for any assistance which you are able to offer. Whatever your wishes, Peterhouse undertakes to abide by them as a condition of accepting your legacy. 

Though the College will be pleased to advise on specific forms of words, you are encouraged to take legal advice about the formulation of any Will.  You may also wish to consider Goodwill Partnership,, a low-cost, home visit solicitor-provided will service, whom we have partnered with and who work with various charities throughout England and Wales.  

Making a bequest to the College is a simple matter:

  • the words ‘The Master (or Keeper) and Fellows of Peterhouse in the University of Cambridge’  (England & Wales Registered Charity No. 1137457) will identify your wishes;
  • the position of your Trustees can be safeguarded by the words: ‘I direct that the receipt of the Bursar or other proper officer for the time being of the College shall be a full discharge to my Trustees who shall not thereafter be concerned as to the application of this gift’.

There are a number of ways of making a bequest:

  • through a Pecuniary Bequest: this involves the leaving of a specified sum of money to a named beneficiary. This form of legacy is very simple to arrange, but has the disadvantage that its value is likely to be eroded over time by inflation;
  • through a Residuary Bequest: this involves the leaving of the residue of an estate, after all other legacies have been paid and other expenses have been met, to one or more named beneficiaries; or the sum to be left to any one beneficiary can be expressed as a percentage of the whole estate. In this case there is no question of erosion of the value by inflation, since, as an estate increases in value, so too does the residue;
  • through a Reversionary Bequest (Bequest subject to a Life Interest): this is an excellent way of providing both for your spouse, relatives or other named beneficiaries in their lifetime, and of benefiting the College in due course. It involves the leaving of assets to a named beneficiary or beneficiaries, to enjoy throughout their life; on their death, the whole or a specified proportion will pass (‘revert’) to the College;
  • through a Bequest in Kind (Specific Bequest): it is possible to leave gifts in the form of property, valuables, works of art, or stocks and shares to the College, either on the understanding that they be retained or so that they can be sold and the proceeds devoted to other purposes.

All such gifts can qualify for  inheritance tax relief:

If you give 10% of the net value of your estate to charity the rate of inheritance tax is reduced from 40% to 36%. (  The net value of an estate, also known as the baseline for inheritance tax, is the value of the estate after the nil-rate band (£325,000) and any other exemptions and reliefs have been deducted, but before the gift to charity has been made. The rate of inheritance tax will be reduced from 40% to 36% and the amount of your estate that is subject to inheritance tax will also be reduced (gifts to charity are not subject to inheritance tax). This in effect reduces the cost to the estate of the 10% gift to 4% - and HMRC pays the difference. There is a worked example here:


Informing the College

The making of a Will is an intensely personal matter and the College makes no assumption that those who chose to leave a legacy to Peterhouse will necessarily wish to inform the College in their lifetime. It is equally understood that circumstances can alter, and that the dispositions made in a Will can accordingly change over time. The College is, however, particularly grateful when its members and friends choose to let us know.

This is for three reasons:

  • so that the College can have some idea of the legacies which it can expect over time, and make allowance in its long-term financial planning accordingly. Such information is encouraging to us, and the knowledge that the College is supported in this way can encourage others to help, though all correspondence is obviously treated in the strictest confidence;
  • so that, if you have specific wishes as to how you would like your legacy to be deployed, we can discuss them with you and ensure that your wishes can be given effect in a way with which you are content;
  • so that we have opportunity to express our gratitude to you in your lifetime by including you in the list of members of the William Stone Society and by inviting you to events.

A simple note, email, or telephone call at any time to the Development Director will ensure that we are made aware of your intentions. Alternatively, please complete the attached Legacy Pledge Form and return it to us. Similarly, it will be very helpful to be kept informed if at any time your intentions change. Such a pledge is in no way binding and involves you in no legal obligation whatever.

Further Information

The College’s Development Director will be happy to discuss with you at any time – in person, by letter or on the telephone – any thoughts or queries that you might have about the making of a legacy to the College, or to explore with you such wishes as you may have and how they can best be given effect. All correspondence and discussion will, of course, be treated in the strictest confidence.

Please contact:

Dr Saskia Murk Jansen
Fellow and Development Director

Telephone: 01223 765187
Facsimile: 01223 765189

The Development Director will be pleased to advise on forms of words, though you are recommended to take legal advice about the precise formulation of any Will.

Recognising your gift

The Development Director, Dr Saskia Murk Jansen, will be pleased to discuss with you ways in which your gift may be permanently recognised within the College.  All donations made will be fully acknowledged and permanently recorded.