Frequently Asked Questions

Legacy gifts help to preserve every aspect of the Philharmonia's work, from live concerts and recordings to education and cutting edge digital projects. They help us to fulfil our mission to make incredible music accessible to anyone in the world in the most creative, exciting, and engaging way.

How can I leave a gift in my will?

A Will is a legal document, and we therefore advise you to obtain professional advice before making a new Will or changing an existing one. Seeking advice from a solicitor will ensure that your Will accurately reflects your wishes and is legally binding.

What kind of legacy gift can I leave?

Charities like the Philharmonia can receive two main types of legacies: Pecuniary and Residuary.

A Pecuniary gift is a set amount of money, and might be an attractive option if you would like your legacy to support a particular project. Details about specific costs can be easily obtained by contacting the Philharmonia. The drawback of a pecuniary gift is that your preferences and financial circumstances may change, which could require frequent amendments to your Will.

Example wording: I give the sum of x pounds to Philharmonia Trust Limited (Endowment Fund), Registered charity no. 254191, Company no. 913665 (The Philharmonia").

A Residuary gift is a proportion of the remainder of your estate, after specific gifts have been fulfilled. This means that your loved ones are looked after, but also that charitable causes such as the Philharmonia are remembered as well. Even a very small percentage of your residuary estate can have a lasting impact on the Philharmonia's work.

Example wording: I give % of the residue of my real and personal estate which I can dispose of by Will in any manner I think proper to Philharmonia Trust Limited (Endowment Fund), Registered charity no. 254191, Company no. 913665 ("The Philharmonia").

Are there other options for remembering the Philharmonia in my Will?

Specific Gift: many people choose to give a specific item, including musical instruments, collections of memorabilia, or even property.

Example wording: I give my (short description of property given) free of all inheritance tax to Philharmonia Trust Limited (Endowment Fund), Registered charity no. 254191, Company no. 913665 (The Philharmonia").

In Memoriam Gifts: this is a special way to remember someone who had a fondness for the Orchestra - a Friend, a faithful concert goer or even a former member of the Orchestra. This can take the form of a dedicated donation or may be given in lieu of flowers at memorial services and funerals. You may also like to express a wish in your Will for loved ones to consider this opportunity for yourself.

I already have a Will. How can I update this to reflect my gift to the Philharmonia?

If you would like to add the Philharmonia as a charity you wish to support to an existing Will, your advisor may attach a written instruction called a codicil. You may invalidate your Will if you make these changes yourself, so it is important to seek professional advice before amending or changing your Will in any way. Codicils must be signed in the presence of two witnesses who are not beneficiaries.

Example wording: In addition to the legacies given by me in the said Will, I bequeath (the sum of pounds/ % of the residue of my real and personal estate) as a charitable legacy absolutely to Philharmonia Trust Limited (Endowment Fund), Registered charity no. 254191, Company no. 913665 ("The Philharmonia").

How will my gift be allocated?

Legacy gifts typically benefit the Philharmonia Trust which secures the long-term future of the Orchestra and enables the Philharmonia to undertake special projects and initiatives. We do understand that you may wish to leave a gift in your Will to benefit specific areas of interest such as chair endowment or live concerts, recordings, tours or education projects. If you let us know how you would like your gift to be used, we will do our best to ensure that your wishes are carried out.

Example wording: ...and I request the Philharmonia Trust, but without imposing any binding trust or legal obligation, to use the legacy for xxx

Inheritance Tax

As of April 2012 any Estate which bequeathes at least 10 per cent of its value to a charitable or cultural cause will benefit from a reduction in inheritance tax from 40 per cent to 36 per cent.

Other helpful hints

  • Appoint a professional solicitor. Many banks also give advice on this matter.
  • Work out the value of your estate. This should be the estimated sum of your property, money and possessions less any outstanding mortgage or loan.
  • Decide who will benefit from your Will.
  • Consider inheritance tax, if any, which is often paid out of the residue of the estate. Specific gifts are often given free of inheritance tax.
  • Choose your executors, to make sure your Will is properly discharged. Executors can be beneficiaries from your Will.
  • Keep your Will safe. Make at least two copies and entrust one to your solicitor.
  • Keep your Will up to date. You can amend your Will at any time.


If you are considering remembering the Philharmonia in your Will, or would like to discuss this or a similar matter further, please contact:

Sarah Atkinson
Individual Giving Manager

Philharmonia Orchestra
6 Chancel Street
London SE1 0UX

020 7921 3921

[email protected]
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