Legacies

The V&A is a charity and gifts in Wills are a vital source of income for our work. They help us to protect, conserve and add to our existing collections; educate and entertain our visitors; produce world-renowned exhibitions and push the boundaries of academic learning and research.

There are three types of gift you can leave in your Will:

A Residuary Gift

This is a gift of all or part of the value of your estate, once all your other commitments have been settled.

A Pecuniary Gift

This is a gift of a specific sum of money (e.g. £1,000). You may wish to protect this gift against the effects of inflation by asking your Solicitor to ensure that it is index linked.

A Specific Gift (of an object)

If you are thinking of leaving an object to the V&A in your Will, please speak to a member of the Legacy team first so that our curators can advise whether we will be able to accept the gift.

The V&A has a responsibility to protect and preserve for all time the objects that are accepted into its collection. If you are planning to bequeath an object in your Will to the V&A please consider whether you might be able to leave a pecuniary or residuary donation in order to support the Museum in this endeavour.

If you would like to get in touch, please contact the Head of Legacy Giving, Julia Brown on legacy@vam.ac.uk or 0207 942 2898. All legacy enquiries are treated in strict confidence.

You can find more information about how to leave a legacy below or in our downloadable legacy brochure. If you would like a hard copy of the brochure, please let us know the address to which you would like it to be sent by emailing legacy@vam.ac.uk or calling +44 (0)207 942 2898.

Your gift

Your gift

Unrestricted legacies are especially valuable to the Museum as they enable us to use your gift where the need is greatest. Your legacy donation could be used to support:

  • conservation
  • curatorial posts
  • educational programmes
  • scholarly research
  • exhibitions
  • important acquisitions
  • preservation of the fabric of the building
  • the endowment

In 2018 legacy donations were used to acquire an 18th century dress, and a surrealist sofa of Mae West’s Lips and have helped us to build a new Photography Centre. We are extremely grateful to the people that had the foresight to leave a legacy and have helped the Museum with these projects.

There are many ways in which your legacy donation could help the Museum. We would be happy to show you some examples and discuss how a gift in your Will could help the V&A.

Making a Will

Making a Will

To make it easy and affordable to write a Will, the V&A has partnered with The Goodwill Partnership, enabling you to write a Will over the phone, or from the comfort of your home. Free home visits are conducted by a trained professional who then passes your instructions to a qualified solicitor to write your Will. The discounted price for a single Will is £108 + VAT.

To find out more call 0844 669 6148 and mention the V&A, or book an appointment online.

If you would prefer to find your own solicitor, visit the Remember A Charity website to find a solicitor in your local area, who will be able to advise you on leaving gifts to charities when making a Will.

Will Wording

Will Wording

You may find it useful to give the following suggested wording to your Solicitor when preparing your Will:

Residuary gifts

"I give [state proportion e.g. one third] of the residue of my estate to the Board of Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) South Kensington London SW7 2RL absolutely for its general charitable purposes. My Trustees shall have no further duties relating to this benefit if they obtain the written receipt from the treasurer or other appropriate officer of the Victoria and Albert Museum."

Pecuniary gifts

"I give the sum of [amount in words] (£______ [amount in figures]) to the Board of Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) South Kensington London SW7 2RL absolutely for its general charitable purposes. My Trustees shall have no further duties relating to this benefit if they obtain the written receipt from the treasurer or other appropriate officer of the Victoria and Albert Museum."

If you would like to support the V&A Endowment we recommend the following wording:

"I give [sum of X or X% residue of my estate] toThe V&A Foundation (Charity Registration Number 1144508) (“the Foundation”), based at the Victoria and Albert Museum (“the Museum”), South Kensington London SW7 2RL absolutely for its general charitable purposes. My Trustees shall have no further duties relating to this benefit if they obtain the written receipt from the treasurer or other appropriate officer of the V&A Foundation."

We always recommend that you speak to a Solicitor when writing or amending your Will; they will be able to ensure that your wishes appear just as you want them, and can also advise you about Inheritance Tax.

Charity status

Charity status

The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum is a charity and relies on your support. As a national museum, we are exempt from registration under Schedule 3 of the Charities Act 2011. This means that we are regulated by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) rather than the Charity Commission, and we do not have a charity registration number.

The registered address of the Victoria and Albert Museum is: Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, London, SW7 2RL

The V&A Foundation

The V&A Foundation is a charity established to manage the V&A Endowment Fund and financially assist the work of the V&A. All donations bequeathed to the V&A Foundation are exempt from inheritance tax, therefore a gift to the V&A may reduce the tax on your estate.

The V&A Foundation is a registered charity with a charity registration number: 1144508.

The Registered address of the V&A Foundation is:

The V&A Foundation
Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, London, SW7 2RL

Codicil

Codicil

If you have already made a Will but would like to amend it to include a gift to the V&A you can simply download this codicil form, fill in your wishes and store it safely with your Will. You must sign the form in the presence of two independent witnesses. A beneficiary of your Will or their spouse or partner cannot witness your codicil.

Henry Cole Circle

Henry Cole Circle

If you are considering leaving a gift to the V&A in your Will and would like to let us know, we would love to hear from you so that we can help you with any information you need and thank you personally.

Everyone that lets us know that they have included a donation to the V&A in their Will, will be invited to join the Henry Cole Circle. Members of the Henry Cole Circle receive an invitation to an annual lecture as well as regular updates about the Museum’s work in the V&A Magazine and Annual Review.

If you would like to get in touch, please contact the Head of Legacy Giving, Julia Brown on legacy@vam.ac.uk or 0207 942 2898. All legacy enquiries are treated in strict confidence.

You can also find more information in our legacy brochure.

How gifts have helped

How gifts have helped

Gifts left to the V&A in Wills provide vital funding for curatorial research, exhibitions and conservation. Bequests small and large have made a huge difference to the Museum's work and have enabled our collection to grow – for example, the bequests made by Elspeth Evans and Fred Rowley.

  • Elspeth Evans Bequest
    In 1997, the V&A received a generous donation as a bequest from Elspeth Ann Evans. Elspeth Evans had a keen interest in female costume, so over the past 20 years, Elspeth's bequest has been put towards the acquisition of a spectacular array of women's fashion, including: a beautifully painted 'sack back' dress made in 1750 – 75; a pair of metal-heeled 'Spring-o-later' mules from 1955 – 1961; a digitally-printed leather gauntlet designed by Alexander McQueen and five recent ensembles by the Anglo-French designer duo Meadham Kirchoff.
  • Fred Rowley Bequest
    Fred Rowley was a much-loved Museum volunteer who led tours and helped visitors at the information desk for over 20 years. In 2014 Fred's bequest supported the acquisition of the Wolsey Angels – four important bronze statues originally designed for the tomb of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, chief advisor to King Henry VIII.