Leaving a Gift in Your Will

Everyone can leave a legacy. It’s easy to do, and any gift – large or small – will have a tremendous impact.

A bequest in a will is often the most significant gift a person ever makes. Whether you hope to transform the lives of students and create opportunities for future generations, want to encourage new thinking and research that will answer some of today's most pressing questions, or want make a significant difference to Aston in continuing its mission to be the UK’s leading University for business, enterprise and the professions, please do get in touch today.

If you have already mentioned Aston University in your will, please let our development team so that we can properly recognise your generous support.

Charitable Status and Tax Benefits

The University has charitable status for all UK tax purposes.  As an exempt charity under Schedule 2 of the Charities Act 1993, we do not have a Registered Charity Number. Our reference number with the charity division of HM Revenue and Customs is XT14145. 

Our charitable status means that a gift in your will to the University would be tax-exempt and so could reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax payable if the net value of your estate is above the threshold (currently £325,000). 

Nominating the University as a beneficiary of your pension fund could also provide significant tax benefits. 

Inheritance Tax is a complex area and it is important that you seek professional advice on the tax implications of leaving all or part of your estate to charity.   

For more information about Inheritance Tax, visit HM Revenue & Customs.

Remembering Aston: Donor Stories

Your gift will have a transformational effect. Read more about how legacy gifts have made a difference to staff and students. 

All gifts made to Aston can remain confidential. You can have a lasting impact by remembering Aston in your will. 

The Chris Smith Fellowship  

Dr Chris Smith spent many years teaching at Aston, holding the post of Dean of Faculty of Life and Health Sciences by the time of his retirement in 1996, when he was made an Honorary Visiting Fellow. Chris died in 2013, mourned by all at Aston who knew him. Before his death he made provisions in his Will for the support and encouragement of post graduate studies in Neuroscience. In 2021, the sum of £75,000 was bequeathed to the university, for use over the next decade to fund placement students working on research projects within the Aston Institute of Health and Neuroscience, to assist PhD students with travel to international collaborative labs, and to allow attendance at international conferences where they will be able to present papers and interact with the leading figures in the Neuroscientific field.  

The Gwen Kingston Prize 

Gwen Former member of staff, Gwen Kingston worked as an Examinations Officer at Aston University. Through this she was brought into contact with many of Aston’s international students.  “She recognised that international students often required more support than home students,” explained her husband, David.  “Gwen’s wish was to recognise academic excellence and to help support international students whilst they were studying at Aston.   

Gwen’s legacy has established a student prize which is awarded annually to a top first-year international student who has also significantly contributed to the life of the University. 

“I am extremely proud of receiving the Prize and grateful for the legacy left by Gwen Kingston.”

Nandini Rao, the first student to receive the Gwen Kingston Prize in 2009.

Sir Edwin Ronald Nixon Legacy 

This unrestricted legacy contributed to the Vice Chancellor's Fund which was established to help support a variety of projects across the University; projects which make an impact and a measurable difference to the experience students have at Aston.   

Sir Edwin was awarded an honorary degree from Aston University in 1985.  

The Frank Woodlard David Bramley Scholarship 

David Bramley was the first Head of the Department of Industrial Administration at Birmingham Central Technical College (now Aston University) between 1947 and 1959. David became recognised for his pioneering works in Industrial Management Education at the University. 

After a long and fruitful life, David passed away in July 2010, leaving a significant endowment in his will to ABS to set up the Frank Woollard David Bramley Scholarship in memory of the close collaboration of these two colleagues. 

The gift is used for the purpose of creating or enhancing a travel scholarship which will promote or enhance the exchange of experiences for travelling teaching staff using the case study method. His family also donated all his academic papers to ABS so they can be archived and used for reference.The David Bramley Collection is a small collection of David’s lectures, presentations, jointly authored publications and correspondences.  

“Without the Frank Woollard David Bramley Scholarship I may not have been able to meet the scholars I have met and sown the seeds for such exciting research next year. I am extremely grateful."

Professor Stephanie Decker, Aston Business School.

The Allen & Nesta Ferguson Trust Scholarship 

The Ferguson Trust was set up in memory of two generations of the Ferguson family to support education, international friendship and understanding, and the promotion of world peace and development.  

The Ferguson Scholarships aims to improve educational opportunities for those applicants with limited financial resources and are available exclusively for African and South American applicants.  

"The Ferguson Scholarship has provided me with an academic and personal challenge. I am more than glad for having this scholarship as I would not be able to study at Aston without it.”

Patricia Melendez Justo, scholarship recipient.

Free Will Writing Service

Aston University has partnered with Dunham McCarthy, Estate Planning & Will Specialists, to offer Aston alumni a free will writing service.

Dunham McCarthy provides Will drafting services entirely free of charge across both public and private sector organisations- including schools and universities. This has allowed staff members and their partners to write their Wills without cost. The service is now available to alumni of Aston living in England or Wales.

Under this offer, all fees are waived, and there are no hidden costs.
Dunham McCarthy is a member of the ‘Institute of Professional Will Writers and aims to encourage people to make their Will at a younger age.

You can view their brochure, which gives details on the alumni benefit.

To arrange an appointment with Dunham McCarthy, click here for their online appointment service or telephone 01785 336222 (Mon-Fri 9:00 am – 19:00 pm).   


The Woodcock Society

The Woodcock Society recognises the special commitment made by alumni and friends who have pledged a legacy to Aston. If you are leaving a gift to Aston in your will, you will automatically join the Woodcock Society. You will also receive an exclusive lapel pin and invitations to special events.  

We are extremely grateful to this group of pioneering alumni and friends who want to build a living legacy for future generations of Aston students.