Bequests to Hampshire

A bequest to Hampshire in your will or trust enables you to give a specific amount or percentage of your estate to the College in a way that renders it exempt from an estate tax. You can give to a favorite program, create an endowment, or leave your gift unrestricted to meet the most pressing needs. This kind of gift will benefit the College and its students for years to come.

There are four kinds of bequests:

Specific Bequest

A Specific Bequest names Hampshire College as the beneficiary of a specific amount from your estate.

Sample language: I give, devise, and bequeath to Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, the sum of $_________ (or a description of a specific asset), to be used for the following purpose: (state the purpose). If at any time in the judgment of the trustees of Hampshire College it is impossible or impractical to carry out exactly the designated purpose, they shall determine an alternative purpose closest to the designated purpose.

Residuary Bequest

A Residuary Bequest allows you to designate Hampshire College as the recipient of all or a portion of the residue of your estate after expenses and specific bequests are paid.

Sample language: I give and devise to Trustees of Hampshire College, located in Amherst, Massachusetts, all (or state a percentage) of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, both real and personal, to be used for its general support (or designate a specific fund or program).

Contingent Bequest

A Contingent Bequest enables you to name Hampshire as an alternate beneficiary of all or of a portion of your estate, which means the College will receive the bequest only if your primary beneficiary or beneficiaries do not survive you.

Sample language: If________ is not living at the time of my death, I give to Hampshire College, in Amherst, Massachusetts, the sum of $________ (or the residue of my estate/______% of the residue of my estate) to be used for such charitable purposes as the trustees of the College shall direct.

Endowment Bequest

Endowment Bequests allow you to designate the annual distributions of your bequest to a specific purpose or project at Hampshire College.

Sample language: I give $_________ (or _________percent of my estate) to Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, to establish the "_____________ Endowed Fund." The principal of this Fund shall be retained, and the earnings from it used, in accordance with the College's policies for expenditure of endowment income, to provide support for “ ____________(the specific purpose or project).” If at any time in the judgment of the Trustees of Hampshire College, all or part of the income of this fund cannot be usefully applied to the above purpose, it may be used in a manner that the Trustees determine will best accomplish my original intent.

Note: Because the particular programs and needs of Hampshire College may change over time, the College must have the power to re-direct the use of your bequest if the stated purpose ceases to be appropriate. The minimum bequest to establish an endowment is $50,000. To help ensure that your gift can be used as you wish, please contact us to discuss your intentions.


  • A decrease in or elimination of estate taxes
  • The creation of a legacy, but you retain access to your assets during your lifetime
  • No need to rewrite your will; a simple supplement can add a bequest, and you can modify it at any time.
  • Membership in the Harold Johnson Society

If you're planning to make Hampshire College one of your beneficiaries through a bequest, tell us! Once we have confirmation of your bequest, you'll be warmly welcomed into the Harold Johnson Society and enjoy its benefits.

Please contact us; we will work with you or your attorney and can provide customized beneficiary language specific to your goals in relation to the College.

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Hampshire College
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Amherst, MA 01002