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Leaving a legacy: frequently asked questions

Deciding to leave a legacy is a very significant and personal decision.

We've put together these answers from frequently asked questions we've received, if you can't find an answer to your question here, please do get in contact and we'll help in any way we can, email us on


Can I talk to someone at City Lit concerning my gift?

Absolutely - we would welcome the opportunity to meet with you personally to discuss your wishes and how leaving your gift to City Lit can have the most impact supporting Londoners to gain access to life-chaning adult education.  Please email us at


Why does City Lit need lasting a gift?

City Lit is a registered charity and receives funding from student fees, government support and charitable donations.  Receiving charitable donations and lasting legacy gifts has never been more important.  We are very proud of our diversity and our vision to provide life long education for all.  With the current pressures on Government funding for higher education on the decline, we want to secure the future of the college for future generations, building on our long history and philanthropic foundations. Every gift we receive, whatever the amount, makes a valuable contribution.


Can I choose where my gift is spent?

Most legacies we receive are for general purpose which allows us to use the funds where most needed.  However, within your Will you can specify a preference for your gift to be used to fund as “specific gift”. When incorporating a specific gift in this way it is most useful if this is stated as “a preference”, and not as “a condition”, wherever possible.  This allows us to put your gift to the best possible use at the time of receiving your gift.


Where can I find a solicitor to help me with advice and Will writing?

City Lit is unable to make any recommendations for your legal representation.  However, The Law Society website has helpful information on how to find professional solicitors in your area.  


Can I make changes to my Will?

Once your Will has been written and witnessed, you should only make changes by seeking legal advice from your solicitor or professional advisor.  There are two ways you can do this; 

  • Add a Codicil – an additional supplement to your current wishes
  • Write a new Will


Are there different ways to make a lasting gift?

There are a number of ways you can leave a lasting gift in your Will.  We hope this will be helpful with the start of your decision making, we always recommend that you should seek independent legal advice through a solicitor to make sure your Will is legal and valid.  

Leaving a gift could also have tax advantages and a solicitor will be able to give you the most appropriate advice.

  • residuary bequest is a share of what is left over after all your wishes have been carried out. 
  • pecuniary bequest  allows you to specify an amount (sum) of money.  
  • reversionary legacy allows a surviving partner to benefit from the estate during his or her lifetime and then for the balance or share of the estate to be passed to the college.
  • Within your Will you can specify a preference for your gift to be used to fund a “specific gift”, for example, the student bursary scheme or a particular subject/department that you would like to support. When incorporating a gift in this way it is most useful if this is stated as “a preference”, and not as “a condition”, wherever possible. If you would like to direct your gift in a particular specific manner, it would be helpful if you felt able to discuss your wishes with us so we can ensure that they are feasible. 


What if my circumstances change?

Your solicitor will ensure your Will is worded appropriately to take in to account any change of circumstances enabling you to provide for your family, as well as supporting the causes you are passionate about during your lifetime.


Will my lasting gift be remembered in some way?

Leaving a lasting gift is a very personal and generous gesture. Every gift we receive, whatever the amount, its extremely important.  Whilst some people choose to keep their giving wishes private, with your permission, we would like to be able to say thank you. Please email so we can send you our personal thanks for helping to make the future brighter for the City Lit community.

In addition your legacy can be acknowledged within our college publications and newsletters around the time of receiving the gift. We would welcome the opportunity of discussing your lasting legacy with you and how we can continue to involve you with City Lit during your lifetime.


What information for City Lit do I need to include in my Will?

To ensure your gift is valid within your Will, it is very important to include our full name, correct registered address and charity number within your documentation.

Official name: The City Literary Institute

Address: 1-10 Keeley Street, London, WC2B 4BA

Registered Charity Number: 803007