Your Legacy to the Natural World

A photo of Hope the blue whale suspended from the ceiling in Hintze Hall

Get in touch

Thank you for building on our rich history through a gift in your Will. If you intend to or have left a gift in your Will, let us know so we can plan accordingly and keep you updated about our work. We look forward to hearing from you.


Phone: +44 20 7942 6242

How to remember us in your Will

Do you remember the first time you walked through our doors, came face-to-face with a dinosaur or stood beneath Hope our blue whale? Perhaps that first visit inspired a love of the natural world or convinced you that we need to protect the planet we call home and the living things we share it with.

Today our mission has never been more urgent. Through our unique combination of public programming and scientific research, we can inspire the next generation of advocates for the planet. By supporting us through a gift in your Will, you’ll be directly aiding this mission.

Our future is tied to those who came before

Our origins as a museum are inextricably tied to the passion and generosity of those who came before. Since opening our doors in 1881, we have cared for one of the world’s largest and most important natural history collections, introducing millions to the wonder and beauty of life on Earth. Home to leading scientists, curators and advocates, we’re building on this enduring legacy to work to protect all the species with whom we share this world.

Your gift could transform our research

Each year, we receive generous bequests from scientists and members of the public committed to protecting and engaging with our historically important collection. For example, Dr Adolph van Bruggen’s recent bequest will enable new research into African molluscs, an area underexplored in our Mollusca Collection. With these funds, we’ll be able to house visiting researchers from across the world and more fully understand the molluscs of this region.

Like those who came before, you too can protect the natural world by pledging to protect our 80-million-strong collection , as well as our public programmes and gallery spaces.

Join our community of pledgers

I believe the Natural History Museum is vital to our planet’s conservation and the promotion of scientific research to provide greater understanding of how we affect the planet and how our collective ‘footprint’ can become less detrimental and hopefully beneficial. I would encourage anyone who has an interest in supporting an institution that works for the benefit of our planet to leave a legacy to the Natural History Museum.

- Jasmina Ljuhar, Patron who has remembered us in her Will

  • How does it work?

    What are the different types of legacy gifts? 

    There are several ways to leave a gift to us in your Will, including: 

    • A Residuary Gift, which is the remainder, or a percentage of the remainder, of your estate after all other gifts to family and friends have been distributed. Even a small percentage of the residue could be of enormous benefit to the natural world.
    • A Pecuniary Gift, which is a specified sum of money. To ensure that it keeps its value over the years, you can ask your solicitor to include an instruction that it is index-linked.
    • A Restricted Gift, which can be either a Residuary or Pecuniary Gift where you intend the money to be used to support a particular area of our activities.
    • A Specific Gift, which is an object that is part of the estate. It might constitute a collection of specimens, manuscripts, drawings or other valuables. If you’re kindly considering this form of gift, contact us so that we can ensure it’s in line with our collections policy and that we can conserve and store the item or items properly. 

    What wording should I use to include a gift to the Museum in my Will?

    As a base, we suggest you use the following wording in your Will:

    I give (% of residuary estate/£ [sum in words]) to the Trustees of the Natural History Museum, located at the Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD, for its general purposes and I declare that the receipt of the Director or other authorised officer of the Museum shall be a full and sufficient discharge to my Executor/s.

    How could Inheritance Tax affect my gift?

    The Museum is an exempt charity, so bequests - whether they’re residuary, pecuniary or specific - will not be subject to Inheritance Tax in the UK. By remembering us in your Will you might also be able to reduce the taxable value of your assets. 

    Inheritance Tax is a tax on the estate, including the property, money and possessions, of someone who has died. There’s normally no Inheritance Tax to pay if either:

    • the value of your estate is below the £325,000 threshold if you’re single or £650,000 if you’re a married couple or civil partners
    • you leave everything to an exempt beneficiary such as a charity

    In April 2012, the government introduced a change to Inheritance Tax legislation meaning that in some situations people leaving 10% or more of their taxable estate to charity qualify for a reduced rate of Inheritance Tax from 40% to 36%. If you think that your estate is going to be subject to Inheritance Tax, please discuss this with your solicitor.

    I have already written my Will but would like to add a gift to the Museum. What should I do?

    If you’ve already written your Will, we suggest filling out a Codicil form to discuss with your accountant, solicitor or financial advisor.

    Many of the gifts we receive are left for unspecified use, allowing monies to be allocated to projects where the need is greatest. If you’re interested in supporting a particular area of our work, contact our Legacy Team for further information.

    Thank you for uplifting our world-class offerings and ensuring future generations can enjoy the Museum.