Oxford University

Legacies and bequests

Through the centuries, legacies and bequests have played a vital part in Oxford’s success. Many of Oxford’s colleges were founded through generous legacies and almost every part of the collegiate University has benefited from gifts in the wills of alumni, friends and supporters.

A gift in your will can help support the University as a whole, a specific Oxford college or an aspect of University life with which you have a particular affinity.

Discussing your plans

If you are considering leaving a gift to the University in your will, our Legacies Officer will be pleased to talk to you about your wishes and intentions. We are unable to offer legal or financial advice, but we are happy to answer your questions about legacies in general.

A will is very personal, and we quite understand if you prefer to keep your intentions private. However, if you do wish to let us know about a legacy to the University or one of its colleges, we will be able to thank you personally and keep you informed about the impact your gift could make.

You can fill in the form available on this page to let us know your intentions. This does not commit you in any way – it simply includes us in your current plans so that we can respond appropriately. Please be assured that the information will be treated as confidential.

It is important to consult your legal adviser before drafting a new will, updating an existing one or making other plans for your estate. You can also get information from the professional bodies listed under ‘Related links’.

Making a gift to a college

If you would like to leave a gift in your will to a college, please contact its development office.

Making a gift to the University

If you would like to leave a gift in your will to the University, please use the following wording: ‘I give to Oxford University Development Trust Fund [insert HMRC tax exemption number] the sum of [insert number] pounds (£[insert figure]) for [insert name of fund]; and I direct that the receipt of the Trusts Administrator or other proper officer of the Trust shall be a sufficient discharge to the executors for this gift.’

If you would like to be more specific about how your gift is used, then please add the following wording:

‘I express the wish, without creating any trust or imposing any other legally-binding obligation, that … [e.g. preference be given to undergraduates reading Engineering]’ For further information, please see the ‘Giving to the University’ section in the Legal Services Office’s Frequently Asked Questions page: www.admin.ox.ac.uk/lso/faq/

Adding to your existing will

If you already have a will, you can add a beneficiary to it by means of a codicil. If you would like to include the University of Oxford in your existing will, please download our guide 'Adding to your existing will'.

Pension benefits

You can also nominate Oxford as a beneficiary in your pension or SIPP (Self Invested Personal Pension). Please speak to your pension provider to nominate the University. Please also let us know so that we can direct your gift towards the area you wish to support.

US residents

Residents of the USA can find out about planned giving opportunities through the Oxford Planned Giving website. Planned giving can provide lifetime financial benefits while ultimately benefiting the University.



Caroline Reynolds

University of Oxford
Development Office
University Offices
Wellington Square
 +44 (0)1865 611520
 +44 (0)1865 611531