Leaving a gift in your will

A Lasting Legacy


Remember the West Somerset Railway in your will and help us keep steaming into the future, preserving the heritage of the past for future generations to enjoy and learn from.  Unfortunately, a lot of the work needed to keep this lovely railway running cannot be funded from day to day revenues.

  • Painting and varnishing a carriage costs around £5,000
  • Restoring a 1950 Mark 1 carriage costs around £100,000
  • Restoring a steam locomotive costs around £500,000

Why a Will is important

  • If you die without making a Will, the Rules of Intestacy determine what happens to your estate. This may not be what you want and unmarried partners, charities or step children would not benefit from your estate unless they are named in your Will. If you have no surviving relatives then your estate could even go to the Crown!
  • You can name Executors that you trust to carry out the administration of your estate and to give effect to your wishes.
  • If you have children that are under eighteen, you can use your Will to appoint Guardians to look after them.
  • Making a Will gives you the chance of leaving a legacy to those causes you care about, something which is not always possible to do in your lifetime.

Types of legacies

The following types of legacies (gifts) can be left in your Will:-

  • A specific gift – this is a particular identifiable item such as jewellery or property.
  • A pecuniary gift – this is a fixed sum of money which can be linked to the Retail Price Index or Consumer Prices Index to maintain its real value.
  • A residuary gift – the ‘residue’ is what is left after the payment of all debts, liabilities and testamentary expenses. You can divide the residue between beneficiaries or leave it all to one beneficiary.

Benefit of leaving a gift to charity

For individuals, the current Inheritance Tax threshold is £325,000 and Inheritance Tax is paid at a rate of 40% of anything in excess of the available Tax threshold. If you give away your home to your children (including adopted, foster or stepchildren) or grandchildren, your threshold can increase to £450,000. No Inheritance Tax is payable between married couples and a surviving spouse can transfer any unused threshold to their estate.

There is no Inheritance Tax to pay on gifts to charities. A gift to charity can either be a specific gift, a pecuniary gift or a residuary gift.

A gift to charity will either:

  • be taken off the value of your estate before Inheritance Tax is calculated; or
  • reduce your Inheritance Tax rate to 36% if more than 10% of your estate is left to charity


Taunton Solicitors - our partners

The West Somerset Railway Association has teamed up with Taunton Solicitors (formerly Bailhache Solicitors) to offer fixed fee Wills to members of the WSRA, railway staff (paid and volunteer) and railway supporters.

The price for a straightforward single Will is £100 plus VAT and for straightforward Mirror Wills (i.e. identical Wills for two people) is £150 plus VAT.

To make an appointment to make a new Will, please telephone Taunton Solicitors on 01823 351122 quoting the WSRA Will scheme. A member of the team will briefly discuss your requirements with you and confirm whether they fall within the remit of the above fixed fees.

Taunton Solicitors want also to help people who may have been active supporters in the past but who are now too ill or elderly to come to the office. We can offer home visits in and around Taunton and also West Somerset, although that would be subject to additional charges.

Taunton Solicitors also offer a 10% discount to West Somerset Railway  staff (paid and volunteer) who carry a valid ID card. The 10% discount can be used on all new cases and transactions, including our fixed fee work and hourly rates. The discount does not apply to disbursements and expenses incurred and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount made by Taunton Solicitors, including the fixed fee Wills above.

Taunton Solicitors maintain a traditional approach to private practice, serving the needs of all their clients and their families, providing care support and guidance whenever needed. Taunton Solicitors boast a strong reputation for client care and effectiveness and are proud of the level of business derived from personal recommendation.

More information on Taunton Solicitors and the services they offer can be found at www.tauntonsolictors.com.

Supporting the Heritage of The West Somerset Railway