Frequently Asked Questions

Legacy gifts help to preserve and grow 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 create thrilling experiences in music, and to have a transformative impact on the widest possible audience.

For a conversation about the difference your legacy gift could make, contact William Mendelowitz, Head of Individual Giving on
020 7921 3918 or


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?

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 William Mendelowitz, Head of Individual Giving. The drawback of a pecuniary gift is that your preferences and financial circumstances may change, which could require frequent amendments to your Will.

Example wordingI give the sum of x pounds/euros/US dollars to

  • Philharmonia Limited, charity no. 250277, company no. 799297 (“The Philharmonia”). [For gifts to specific projects or our core programme]
  • Philharmonia Orchestra in Bedford Trust, charity no. 1170495 (“The Philharmonia”). [For gifts towards our residency at the Bedford Corn Exchange]

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 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 wordingI 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 Limited, charity no. 250277, company no. 799297 (“The Philharmonia”).
  • Philharmonia Orchestra in Bedford Trust, charity no. 1170495 (“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 item] free of inheritance tax to Philharmonia Limited, charity no. 250277, company no. 799297 (“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.

How will my gift be allocated?

Gifts to Philharmonia Limited may either benefit the full breadth of our artistic and charitable work, or go towards a specific project such as live concerts, education projects, or digital innovations.

For your gift to benefit our full programme, please use the example wording under ‘What kind of Legacy gift can I leave?’

If you wish to specify a particularly area of our work in your Will, we will do our very best to ensure that your wishes are carried out.

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

Gifts to the Philharmonia Orchestra in Bedford Trust are used to secure our residency at the Bedford Corn Exchange, as well as related education projects in the area.

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.