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Leaving a gift in your will is a big decision and we realise you may have questions about it. Hopefully the information below will answer many of them, but please get in touch if you have any other queries – we’d be happy to hear from you.

Do I have enough to leave a gift from my estate? 

Many people believe they must be wealthy to leave a gift to charity in their will, but this is certainly not the case. Any gift, no matter the size, makes an impact and helps to ensure that our remarkable objects and their stories live on to delight and inspire people for generations to come. 

What do I do if I don’t have a will? 

Writing a will is very important, as it is the only way to ensure your wishes are fulfilled, and guarantees that both your loved ones and the causes you believe in receive the gifts you intend for them - that’s why we recommend you ask a solicitor to help you write or update your will. You can use the following websites to search for a solicitor near you: 

Remember a Charity

Law Society

Law Society Scotland

already have a will but would like to leave a gift to National Museums Scotland; what should I do? 

If you have already made a will, but would like to leave a gift to National Museums Scotland, you can do so by writing a Codicil. The following wording can be adapted by your solicitor to suit the type of gift you wish to leave: 

I [full name] of [full address] declare this to be a [first/second] codicil to my will dated [DD/MM/YYYY]

In addition to any legacies given in my said will, I give, devise and bequeath to National Museums Scotland Charitable Trust (Charity No: SC006964) of Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF 

the sum of £xxx (xxx pounds) 


[the whole/xxx% share] of my residuary estate 


[insert details of a specific gift] 

to hold on trust for its general charitable purposes, and I declare receipt of the Treasurer or duly authorised officer shall be a full and sufficient discharge. In all other respects I confirm my said will and any other codicils thereto. 

Please remember that, to be valid, a Codicil needs to be witnessed in the same way as a will. 

What should I do if I have already included National Museums Scotland in my will? 

Thank you for choosing to support National Museums Scotland. Please consider getting in touch to tell us your intentions. This places you under no obligation but allows us to say thank you properly and show you the impact your gift will make.  

What are the different types of gift I can make? 

A residuary legacy is the gift of a share, or all, of the remainder of your estate once loved ones have been taken care of, and has the benefit that it will not lose value over time. 

A pecuniary legacy is the gift of a fixed sum of money. The value of pecuniary legacies will decrease over time, as the cost of living rises. However, you may link your legacy to the Retail Price Index to ensure its worth in the future will be equivalent to its worth today. 

A reversionary legacy, or life-rent, is a gift to National Museums Scotland Charitable Trust after you have provided for your family first during their lifetime, and is paid to us only after the death of other named persons, for example a spouse or civil partner. 

A specific legacy is the gift of a particular item or object – more information about leaving specific objects can be found below. 

How can I leave a specific object to National Museums Scotland? 

If you are interested in donating a specific object to National Museums Scotland in your lifetime you can find out how to do so here.

If you wish to leave a specific object in your will, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss your plans with you before you commit them to a will, to ensure we can meet your wishes.  

Are there any tax benefits to leaving a gift in my will? 

Yes. All charitable gifts in wills are exempt from inheritance tax. You may wish to discuss other ways of minimising the tax burden on your estate with your solicitor.  

I’d like to ensure my gift is used for a particular site or purpose; how do I do this? 

An unrestricted bequest is always the most helpful as it allows us to use the money wherever it is needed most at the time; however if you are considering restricting your legacy to a particular site or area of our work, or you are considering leaving a specific object for our collection, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss your plans with you before you commit them to a Will, to ensure we can meet your wishes. 

I would like donations to National Museums Scotland at my funeral in lieu of flowers; how can I make sure this happens? 

You can request that donations at National Museums Scotland in lieu of flowers. If this is stated in your Will, your Executors can make sure your wishes are known. 

Suggested wording: 'I request that instead of flowers at my funeral, donations are made to National Museums Scotland Charitable Trust (Charity No: SC006964), Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF.’ 

Who can I contact to discuss further?

If you have any other questions or if you would like to know more about making a gift to National Museums Scotland in your will, please get in touch by emailing Aimée Hooper, Development Manager, at or phoning 0131 241 4191. 

Contact us

Aimee Hooper
Development Manager
0131 247 4191

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