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. This is the most flexible way of supporting the V&A, as the value of your gift will adjust with the value of your estate.

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 are considering leaving a legacy, we welcome hearing from you. Please get in touch with Joanna Ellams, Head of Legacy Giving, on 020 7942 2898 or Emma van Straaten, Senior Legacies Officer, on 020 7942 2716. We can both be reached by email at legacy@vam.ac.uk 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 020 7942 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
  • exhibitions
  • important acquisitions
  • preservation of the fabric of the building
  • scholarly research

Recent legacy donations have been used to acquire an 18th century dress, and a surrealist sofa of Mae West’s Lips, and have helped us to build the new Photography Centre.

We are extremely grateful to the generous supporters who had the foresight to leave a legacy, and who, in so doing, have made a lasting impact by helping the V&A with these projects.

There are many ways in which your legacy donation can help; we are happy to show you some examples and discuss how a gift in your Will can have a lasting impact on the V&A.
Please get in touch by emailing legacy@vam.ac.uk or calling 020 7942 2898.

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."

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 with the Charity Commission under Schedule 3 of the Charities Act 2011, and we do not have a charity registration number. Instead, we are regulated by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). As a charity, all donations bequeathed to the V&A are exempt from inheritance tax, therefore a gift in your Will to the V&A may reduce the tax on your estate.

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 registered in England and Wales, number 1144508, established to manage the V&A Endowment Fund and financially assist the work of the V&A. Existing bequests directed to the V&A Foundation will support the Victoria and Albert Museum and will be gratefully received. However, we encourage new gifts to be left directly to the Victoria and Albert Museum, using the details above.

Events

Events

If you would like to join our next free event to discover how legacies make a lasting difference at the V&A, please email legacy@vam.ac.uk

Henry Cole Circle

Henry Cole Circle

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

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

To tell us about your intention, please contact Joanna Ellams, Head of Legacy Giving, at legacy@vam.ac.uk or on 020 7942 2898. All legacy enquiries are treated in strict confidence.

You can find further 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.
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.