Can I leave a gift to St Catharine's College? I didn't know it was a charity.
The College is a registered charity (1137463). This means that any lifetime gifts to St Catharine's are eligible for Gift Aid, and that a gift to St Catharine's in your Will is free from Inheritance Tax. In addition, leaving a legacy to St Catharine's in your Will may have tax benefits for your estate by reducing the amount liable to Inheritance Tax. For example: A legacy to St Catharine's of £10,000 out of an estate that is subject to Inheritance Tax (excess over £325,000 in 2017/18), might actually cost the estate only £6,000 net, because the remaining £4,000 is a tax saving (40% of £10,000). Since 2012 if you are a higher rate tax payer, donating 10% of your estate to St Catharine's will result in a reduced inheritance tax rate of 36% instead of 40%.
Could the value of my legacy go down over time?
It is difficult to predict precisely what the value of your legacy will years on from now. The most effective way to protect your gift against inflation is to leave a percentage of your estate to charity, rather than a specific sum as the value of the latter is likely to decrease year on year as a result of inflation.
Can I give a copy of my signed Will to anyone for safekeeping?
You can keep a copy of your Will with your solicitor or bank, as well as holding a copy yourself. It is also wise to tell your executors where they can find the original. From time to time you should review your Will to make sure it still accurately reflects your wishes and takes account of recent events in your life, such as the birth of a grandchild.
How can I be sure that St Catharine's really needs my legacy?
Legacies are a hugely important source of income for the College. Without them we could not offer the broad range of opportunities to students through excellent teaching and the tutorial system. Without them we could not offer a comprehensive bursary programme for students from poorer backgrounds. Without them we could not maintain the fabric of the Island Site and the other College buildings. The money we receive from external sources (i.e. academic fees and income from our conference programme) will not be sufficient on its own for St Catharine's to be able to sustain and develop its position as a centre of excellence.
Can legacies really provide enough income to make a difference?
Yes, they can and do. The average legacy over the past five years has been a median figure of £10,000 and a mean figure of £120,000. The largest gift has been for £2.9 million. The College has received £6 million in legacy gifts over the last five years. These funds have been put to immediate use to support current St Catharine’s students through bursaries, travel awards and choral scholarships, as well as substantially boosting the endowment.
Can I choose how my legacy will be spent?
Yes, you can. Whilst we particularly welcome legacies that can be used for general purposes, and/or to build up the College's general endowment, we are also very happy to accept gifts for particular use. That means you can choose what your money is spent on – a favourite part of the College perhaps, or a bursary for a student studying a particular subject. What we do suggest, though, is that if you have a specific purpose in mind for how the College should use your legacy, it is always extremely helpful for us to discuss this with you to ensure that your wishes can be fulfilled in the best manner possible.
How can I be sure that you will spend my legacy?
Whatever your wishes, we will respect them and act upon them, as long as what you have requested does not conflict with College policy. We highly recommend that if you have a specific purpose in mind for how the College should use your legacy, it is always extremely helpful for us to discuss this with you to ensure that your wishes can be fulfilled in the best manner possible.
Can I choose how much I want to leave and does it have to be a lot of money?
Anyone can leave a gift to St Catharine’s in their Will and we welcome all gifts – large and small. Some people leave us specific amounts of money and others choose to leave us the residue of their estate, which can be arranged so that surviving dependants are looked after first. But whether you give £1,000, £10,000, or £100,000, your gift will be valuable to the College.
Can I still make a gift if I live overseas?
US taxpayers can support St Catharine’s through an estate plan via Cambridge in America (Cam). Click on this link to find out more.
Can I talk to someone about leaving a legacy to St Catharine's?
You can contact the Alumni and Development Office to discuss any questions you may have.