How to leave a Legacy

There are two ways to leave a legacy to the National Galleries of Scotland. You can create a Will, including the details of your gift, or you can add a codicil to an existing Will. A codicil is a document which adds or makes a change to your existing Will without the need to rewrite it.

What your Will should say

Scottish Will

If you have a Scottish Will, we suggest that your Will or codicil should use the following wording according to whether you wish to leave a specific legacy or a percentage of your estate:

Specific Legacy
‘I leave to the National Galleries of Scotland Foundation (Scottish charity number SC043024) having its registered office at Princes Exchange 1 Earl Grey Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9EE the sum of ______.  A receipt of any officer of the charity shall be a sufficient discharge.’

Percentage of your estate
‘I leave to the National Galleries of Scotland Foundation (Scottish charity number SC043024) having its registered office at Princes Exchange 1 Earl Grey Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9EE ____% of the residue of my estate wherever situated.  A receipt of any officer of the charity shall be a sufficient discharge.’

If you think your estate may be subject to UK inheritance tax and you leave a percentage of your estate to charity and a percentage to family members, the allocation of inheritance tax can become quite complex.  We recommend that you take advice from a solicitor or a tax advisor in these circumstances.

Legacy of a work of art
If you wish to leave a work of art to the Galleries, please get in touch with us so we can recommend the most appropriate wording.

English Will

If you have an English Will, we suggest that your Will or codicil should use the same wording set out above for a Scottish Will save that it should state ‘I give’ rather than  ‘I leave’ at the beginning of the legacy.

You may also wish to specify that a particular Gallery is to benefit from your legacy. Simply add ‘to benefit’ followed by the Scottish National Gallery, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery or the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

The National Galleries are unable to provide any direct legal advice and recommend that all aspects of your Will should be discussed with a legal professional.

Inheritance Tax

The National Galleries of Scotland and the National Galleries of Scotland Foundation are registered charities and all donations left to us are charitable for UK tax purposes and are therefore exempt from UK inheritance tax. Gifts made to charity in your Will can also reduce the overall amount of tax that will be payable on your estate.

It is important to note that not everyone will have to pay Inheritance Tax. It is only due if your estate - including any assets held in trust and gifts made within seven years prior to death - is valued over £325, 000. Inheritance Tax is payable on the amount above the threshold of £325, 000 at a rate of 40%. However, if you leave a charitable legacy of at least 10% of your estate, then this rate is reduced to 36%. This may seem like a small amount, but provides significant benefits to large estates.

Offers in Lieu of Inheritance Tax

The Inland Revenue may, with the approval of the appropriate Minister, accept ‘pre-eminent’ works of art, manuscripts, heritage objects and historic documents in payment of Inheritance Tax (previously known as ‘capital transfer tax’ or ‘estate duty’) under the Acceptance in Lieu Scheme. If you wish to discuss whether a particular work would qualify or what this would mean to your estate, please contact us to discuss.

If you would like to request further information about leaving a legacy or wish to discuss your gift in complete confidence, please contact the Development Team on 0131 624 6459 or legacies@nationalgalleries.org. We look forward to hearing from you.