Your Legacy

Remembering the Marine Biological Association with a gift in your Will is a very meaningful act of kindness and an extraordinary way to celebrate your life. The impact of which may be felt by many, yet it is a profoundly personal statement, a lasting expression of your values and commitment to understanding our ocean. When pledging a legacy gift to us, you and your loved ones can take comfort in knowing that your priorities will be looked after by people who understand and share your values.


Legacy gifts cost nothing in your lifetime but are a vital source of financial support for us. Whatever the size, all are valued and celebrated because the moment you pledge a legacy gift, large or small, you are making a difference to the future of the Marine Biological Association, science, education, and the future of our ocean.

We were founded on generosity and have been privileged to have benefited from individuals’ philanthropy throughout our 140-year history. In fact, we would not exist without the remarkable gifts we have received and continue to receive. Your gift is an investment in our futures; it honours your place in Marine Biological Association history and will undoubtedly inspire future generations.

Gifts in Wills take various forms, and all could benefit our cutting edge work. The two most common types are:

Residuary bequest: The remainder of your estate, or a percentage of the amount left after gifts, taxes, etc., have been settled.

Pecuniary or fixed-sum bequest: An amount of money decided upon when the Will is written. This sum can be protected from inflation by expressing the wish to index link the amount to the rate of inflation.

Suggested Wording

We always recommend that you take professional legal advice when drafting, updating or adding a codicil to your Will. The suggested wording below is intended to help you when you visit your solicitor in order to make or update your Will.  

We suggest wording along the following lines: 

Subject to the payment of my debts, funeral and testamentary expenses, I give, free of tax, {Insert either:the wholeor “{insert value} percent“, or “£{insert specified amount}”} of my estate not otherwise disposed of by this Will to the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom (registered charity 1155893) to be applied {insert either:to support {insert priority area} with a proportionate contribution towards overhead costs. If upon my death, this area is fully funded, or if it is no longer an area in which the Association is actively involved, it is my wish that my gift is used to support activities that are as close as possible to my original intentions. Change of use in such circumstances is permitted solely at the discretion of the trustees of said Association.oras an unrestricted legacy. It is my wish that it shall be applied for the benefits of said Association wherever the need is greatest at the time of its receipt.“} On realisation of the bequest, I declare that a receipt from the Director or other authorised officer shall be good and sufficient discharge for my Executors.

Unrestricted bequests are particularly welcome as they are directed towards our areas of greatest need. This widens the area in which your gift can be directed, maximising its impact. However, we recognise that you may prefer to direct your bequests towards a specific area of our work. In these instances, we politely request that you permit a proportionate contribution to our running costs as this helps safeguard our world-class facilities vital for our continued focus on priorities important to you.

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As a charity, making a gift in your Will for the MBA is tax-free. However, it can also help reduce inheritance tax on your entire estate.

There is usually no inheritance tax to pay if the value of your estate is below the £325,000 threshold, or you leave everything above the £325,000 threshold to a charity.

The standard inheritance tax rate is 40% which is applied to the part of your estate above the £325,000 threshold. However, suppose you leave 10% or more of the net value of your estate to charity, the inheritance tax rate for the remaining sum above the threshold is reduced to 36%, leaving more funds for your beneficiaries. However, we recommend that you seek professional legal advice to understand the tax implications of your estate planning.

As your Will is a very personal matter, if you are interested in leaving a gift to the Marine Biological Association of any kind, we invite you to discuss your plans with us in confidence so that we can ensure your wishes are understood and can be fulfilled. Telling us about your plans to leave a gift in your Will, will help us ensure your wishes are met later on. If you have already remembered us in your Will, we would also love to hear from you so we can thank you for your special gift, invite you to events, keep you informed about our work and the work gifts like yours are enabling.

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Can we help?

If you have an enquiry about any aspect of the Marine Biological Association, please drop us a line below. 

We look forward to hearing from you.