Over the years the Railway has been fortunate in receiving a number of legacies. These have been put to good effect in the development of the Railway's infrastructure and the restoration of locomotives and rolling stock. This source of funds will become increasingly important to keep pace with the needs to finance capital projects both for future growth and preservation of what we have today.
Gifts to the Bluebell Railway by way of legacies will help to secure its future and ensure it endures for future generations to enjoy. If you would like to assist you can do so by leaving a legacy in your will in favour of The Bluebell Railway Trust (Registered Charity No.292497), which is the charity that supports the work of the Bluebell Railway. As legacies to it are exempt from Inheritance Tax, it usually benefits both the Railway and your other beneficiaries to name the Trust in your will.
There are two kinds of legacies where money is being left to the railway:-
A Pecuniary Legacy is a gift of a specific amount, for example £1,000.
A Residuary Legacy is a gift of a share (or even all) of your estate after expenses and other legacies have been paid. Depending upon your circumstances, this is the best way of benefiting the Railway as the value of the legacy will tend to maintain its value in real terms.
As the needs of the Railway change from year to year it is generally preferable not to place restrictions on the use of a legacy. However, we understand that people have special interests and may prefer to stipulate that their legacy is used for a particular purpose, for example the restoration of locomotives or carriages, or support for the training of apprentices.
Some people decide to leave specific items to the Railway varying from collections of railway books, artefacts or larger items, which may be preserved in our collection or sold for the benefit of the Railway. All such Specific Legacies are very welcome although, in the case of larger items, we would appreciate the opportunity to discuss in advance your future wishes for them. Specific legacies of non-railway assets such as investments or properties are also gratefully received.
Nomination of Pension Funds
Many people are taking advantage of the flexible arrangements recently introduced for their personal pension funds. As it is no longer compulsory to buy an annuity on retirement a pension fund can be dealt with as the person wishes. However, any capital remaining in a pension fund is not treated as being part of an estate and neither is it covered by a will. It is an entirely separate asset which is usually dealt with by a "letter of wishes" or a nomination form. Where the person dies after the age of 75 a tax charge of up to 45% will arise when the pension fund is paid out. However, charities such as the Bluebell Railway Trust are exempt from tax. Therefore, if you have a private pension fund, you might like to consider naming the Trust as its beneficiary. Please feel free to ask for more details of this complex subject.
If you would like a small memorial to you placed in our Garden of Remembrance please say so in Will.
Keeping in Touch
We understand that drawing up a Will is a very personal and private affair. We do advise the use of professional services if your Will is at all complex. If you would like to discuss in complete confidence either the wording that might be suitable for your Will or how a legacy might be used we would be pleased to hear from you. It is not necessary to let us know if you have remembered the Bluebell, but if you should so it enables us to keep in touch and show our appreciation by inviting you to special events and inform you of the plans for the Railway. Please feel free to contact Vernon Blackburn (Administrative Trustee of The Bluebell Railway Trust), by writing to him at Sheffield Park Station, Sheffield Park, East Sussex, TN22 3QL or by email.