Leave your mark

By remembering the Academy in your will, you will support the musicians of tomorrow, helping to shape the future of music in this country and around the world.

Your will is a very personal matter. If you are interested in leaving a legacy of any kind to the Academy, we invite you to discuss your plans with us in confidence, so that we can make sure that your wishes are understood and can be fulfilled.

If you have already remembered the Academy in your will, we would also love to hear from you and thank you for your special gift. We are very grateful to all friends and supporters who have chosen to remember the Academy in this way.

Please contact Kurstin Finch Gnehm, Deputy Director of Philanthropy, on 020 7873 7425 or kgnehm@ram.ac.uk if you have any questions about the process.

There are two main ways of leaving a gift in your will to the Academy:

  • Pecuniary: a specific sum of money which can be linked to inflation so that it retains its value over the years.
  • Residuary: the value remaining in an estate once all pecuniary legacies, debts and fees have been met.

You may choose to leave assets such as property, stocks, shares, library collections, artefacts or other valuables to the Academy. What we can accept is determined by availability of space and needs of the Academy.

Endowed gifts

You might also want to express the wish for the bequest to be endowed. In this case, the capital of the bequest would be invested by the Academy to produce an annual income, which would then fund an annual gift or award in perpetuity.

Gifts to the Royal Academy of Music are exempt from Inheritance Tax in the UK.

There is normally no IHT to pay if either:

  • The value of your estate is below the £325,000 threshold
  • You leave everything above the £325,000 threshold to a charity

The standard Inheritance Tax rate is 40%. It is only charged on the part of your estate that’s above the threshold.

eg your estate is worth £500,000 and your tax-free threshold is £325,000. The Inheritance Tax charged will be 40% of £175,000 (£500,000 minus £325,000).

Reducing IHT

The estate can pay IHT at a reduced rate if 36% on some assets if you leave 10% or more of the ‘net value’ to charity in your will, leaving more funds for your beneficiaries.

Pledging to support the ‘area of greatest need’ gives us more flexibility to use your gift where it will have the most impact at that time. If you have a specific area in mind that you would like to support, however, you might wish to write a Letter of Wishes to accompany your will.

This means that as conditions change over time, the Academy can continue to use the gift to support students. Of course, in all cases, we will do our best to honour your wishes.

Suggested wording for wills and codicils

Making plans for a legacy gift is an important decision and there are many factors to consider in the process. We always recommend that you take professional legal advice when drafting or updating your will or adding a codicil.

Pecuniary Legacy: 'I give to the Royal Academy of Music (registered charity number 310007) of Marylebone Road, London NW1 5HT, (the sum of £---)/(all my share and interest in--- absolutely) and I direct that such money may be used for general purposes. I further direct that the receipt of the treasurer or other proper officer of the Royal Academy of Music for the time being shall be full and sufficient discharge for the said legacy.'

Residuary Legacy: 'I give (the residue) / (---% of the residue) of my estate absolutely to the Royal Academy of Music (registered charity number 310007) of Marylebone Road, London NW1 5HT, and I direct that the proceeds may be used for the general purposes of the Royal Academy of Music. I further direct that the receipt of the treasurer or other proper officer of the Royal Academy of Music for the time being shall be full and sufficient discharge for the said legacy.'

A lasting legacy: Hermine’s story

When Dr Roshan de Silva-Wijeyeratne approached the Academy about his mother’s legacy, our Leadership and Legacy Gifts Officer, Bronwyn Mauchline, knew that she had heard a truly special story that gave a unique insight into how one woman overcame barriers to pursue her musical ambitions.

Find out more about Hermine’s legacy by reading her story.

Remembering Mac: The Suresh and Richard McMillan Scholarships for Music and Opera

When Suresh first met his late partner Richard ‘Mac’ McMillan in 1981, he admits that he had very little knowledge of classical music. Mac, however, had always loved music and knew that, with a little gentle encouragement, Suresh would soon gain the same appreciation that he had.

The Suresh and Richard McMillan Scholarships for Music and Opera are designed to honour Mac’s love of opera, the violin, the piano and his favourite instrument of all, the clarinet.

Find out more by reading their story.