Leave a Legacy to the Friends

By remembering the Friends in your will, you will be supporting one of the world's greatest libraries and helping to ensure that its work will continue into the future.

Even a legacy of £100 can help.

How your money is used

Grants by the Friends have totalled over £500,000 and cover a wide range of items and activities. A room has been named after a Friend in the British Library Centre for Conservation following a very generous legacy, and another legacy has allowed the Friends to sponsor an internship programme.

The Friends have been involved in funding important acquisitions like the Dering Roll and a rare tin book, as well as wholly funding smaller purchases.

The Friends have also supported a number of major exhibitions, allowing the Library to include items it would otherwise have been unable to show.

Making a will

If you have not made a will, it would be sensible and considerate to do so in order to:

  • make just provision for family and friends and to make arrangements for the care of any infant children in the event of your death;
  • give to those charities you would like to support

When you have decided who should benefit from your estate, it is advisable to consult a solicitor, who will help you to ensure that your wishes are clearly expressed in your will. If you do not make a will, your estate will be distributed under the rules of intestacy. Those who benefit may not be those you would have chosen to do so.

Adding a codicil

If you have already made a will, it is easy to make a bequest to the Friends of the British Library by adding a codicil, which is an amendment or addition which must be signed and witnessed like a will.

Inheritance tax

Legacies to a surviving spouse and to charities are exempt from inheritance tax.

Ways of giving

You can give through a general legacy, which can be any sum of money (or your investment in stocks and shares, or monies in a particular bank or building society), and can be given before your residuary estate is calculated.

You can also give a percentage of the residuary estate, which means that once all other gifts have been distributed, the remainder of your property can be shared in the proportions you stipulate amongst the people and charities you name.

Examples of how this would be worded, as well as all the information detailed above, are available in our Legacy Leaflet.