The Ashmolean is a department of the University of Oxford which has full charitable status as an exempt charity under the Charities act 1993 (and therefore does not have a charity number). Any gift you make to the museum in your will is therefore exempt from inheritance tax and may provide other tax benefits.
If a family or executors wish to sell works of art left in a will, they might be eligible for the government’s Acceptance in Lieu (AIL) scheme, which allows you to offer heritage objects for sale to the nation in lieu of inheritance tax, often at a higher rate than they would achieve at auction. For example, if, in order to settle a tax liability, an estate sells an object valued at £100,000 on the open market, inheritance tax is generally payable at a rate of 40% and the estate receives £60,000. If the same object is offered in lieu, 25% of the tax that would have been payable is remitted to the estate, with the result that the object has a tax settlement value of £70,000. An object is, therefore, worth 17% more if it is offered in lieu of tax than if it is sold on the open market at the same price.
Further details about the AIL scheme
Find out more about tax-efficient giving during your lifetime.