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Leave a Legacy

During the course of my life I have, at considerable expense, made a collection of works of ancient and modern Art; and having made suitable provisions, by testamentary bequests, and other legal documents, for each of my relatives, and others whom I consider to have claims on my recollection, and having likewise, under an Act of Parliament, secured my Library, and Works of ancient and modern Art, from being dispersed, and thus endeavoured to render the Collections as useful as possible to the Students of the Fine Arts, and for the advancement of Architectural knowledge, I now retire to my official residence – ‘to enjoy my Chelsea pittance and my ease’.

Sir John Soane, Memoirs of the Professional Life of an Architect… (1835)

Soane’s Legacy
For 175 years Sir John Soane’s Museum has been a public museum – the second oldest in London.  Not only did Soane leave his house and collections for us all to enjoy, he also left £30,000 in his will as an endowment.  The Museum, which has never charged admission, survived on the income from this and other investments for well over 100 years, which is a remarkable achievement.

Your Legacy
Today – the future of public funding for museums like the Soane is less certain than it has been for many years, although the Soane has never been more popular or active with more than 110,000 visitors each year.  One of the most effective ways that you can help ensure that the Museum continues to flourish is by leaving a legacy.  A bequest from you, no matter how large or small, will be warmly welcomed and gratefully remembered.

Four types of Legacy

This is a gift of the remainder of your estate after all payments, taxes and other bequests have been made.  This allows you to take care of your personal commitments and still make a meaningful donation.

This is a fixed sum of money decided by you

This is a gift of something valuable including property, stocks and shares or works of art.  NB as a ‘closed’ collection, the Museum is rarely able to accession new items but it may be able to accept works of art to be sold to benefit the Museum.

This is a way to leave your assets to the Museum while allowing someone else to benefit from them during their lifetime.

Legacies to Sir John Soane’s Museum Trust UK registered charity no. 1146195 are free from inheritance tax and usually reduce the liability of an estate to such tax.  We encourage you to consult a Solicitor to ensure that your will is legally valid and reflects your intentions.  If you do plan to leave the Museum a legacy – it’s very helpful for the Museum to know this.

Further Information
If there is a specific aspect of the Museum’s work that should benefit from your legacy, then we would be happy to discuss this with you.  For more information on leaving a legacy, contact Anh Nguyen on 020 7440 4241 or email (this email requires javascript)

 Scene from Hogarth's

Detail from Hogarth's 'The Polling', 1754, part of
'An Election' at Sir John Soane's Museum