Inheritance Tax

Leaving a Legacy to Heriot-Watt

A legacy is often the greatest donation that anyone makes and is the only donation that just about anyone can make.  A gift in your will to support Heriot-Watt can make a lasting contribution for generations to come, whether you choose to leave your gift unrestricted to support where the need is greatest, or if you express a wish for your gift to be used for a particular purpose. 

Considerations in making your gift
Heriot-Watt University is a charity, registered in Scotland with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator under the reference number SC000278.   We are an exempt charity, which means that any sum left to Heriot-Watt in your will is free of tax. 

Inheritance Tax
Inheritance Tax is the tax imposed on the estate of a person whose permanent residence was in the UK. 

The tax threshold and rate of tax are usually reviewed annually by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and implemented with effect from 6 April at the start of each new tax year.

If your estate is worth more than the nil-rate band, currently set at £325,000 for individuals at the time of your death, your estate may be liable for Inheritance Tax at the rate of 40% on all your assets above the nil-rate band. This applies to all your assets, including your house. 

Remember that each party to a marriage or Civil Partnership has their own nil rate band. This provides a combined tax free allowance of £650,000.

One way to limit your estate’s exposure to Inheritance Tax is to leave a legacy to an institution with charitable status such as Heriot-Watt, as these legacies are free of tax, i.e. its value is deducted from the total assets of the estate liable for Inheritance Tax.

Further information
You can obtain further general information booklets from the Inland Revenue Capital Taxes Office.
HM Revenue and Customs
0845 30 20 900

This information is for general guidance only. We recommend that you seek detailed professional
advice from a bank, financial adviser, solicitor or accountant if you are concerned about Inheritance
Tax. They will be able to advise you fully on the specific effect of Inheritance Tax on your estate as
a result of your intentions.