It’s easy to include United Way in your will or estate plans

Here are 6 of the most popular ways to do this. We would welcome the opportunity to send you additional information or meet with you to take the next steps.

1.    Name United Way as a beneficiary in your will

A bequest provision can be included in your will when you are creating it, or you can amend your existing will through the use of a codicil. This arrangement provides you with flexibility and control should your circumstances change. You can designate an exact amount or asset or a percentage of the assets in your will.

A gift can be made through your Last Will and Testament as an outright, residuary, contingency, or restricted bequest. Below is sample bequest language you can share with your estate professional advisor.

“I (name), of (city, state, zip), give, devise and bequeath to United Way of Hampshire County (written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property) for its unrestricted use and purpose.”

2.    Make an outright gift of cash or appreciated stock or real estate

This is an excellent technique for individuals in the highest tax bracket or those who have sold a business or received a significant bonus and could benefit from an immediate tax deduction.

3.    Name United Way as the beneficiary of a retirement plan

Perpetuating your gift through a retirement plan is simple, flexible and tax wise. Contact the administrator of your retirement plan to designate United Way as the beneficiary of your retirement plan. They can also let you know what restrictions might apply. The benefits of naming United Way as the beneficiary of a retirement account include:

  • Avoiding potential double taxation on retirement fund gifts to heirs (estate tax and income tax).

  • Allowing you to continue to draw money out of your retirement account while you are living.

  • Providing you with the freedom to change your mind if your situation changes.

  • Giving you the satisfaction of knowing that your hard-earned retirement funds will continue to impact people’s lives in our community.

4.    Name United Way as the beneficiary of an existing or new life insurance policy

Many contributors are attracted to life insurance because it enables them to make a larger gift than they would otherwise have been able to make. Here’s how it works: you pay the premiums on a life insurance policy that will ultimately produce a sizable gift to United Way. If United Way is named as the owner and beneficiary, you will also receive a tax deduction for the annual premiums.

5.    Benefit from a split interest gift

A split interest gift is really two gifts, one that is present interest and one that is future interest. Typically, the present interest gift is a lifetime flow of income back to the donor. The future interest gift is the amount the charity will receive at the death of the donor.

The most popular split interest gift is a charitable remainder trust. It is a gift that returns an income to you, your spouse or another beneficiary you name. Highly appreciated but low yield stock is an ideal asset to use in a charitable remainder trust.

Another “split interest” gift is a retained life estate. This is a way to give away the future interest in your home after your lifetime. You continue to enjoy your home while you are living. Perhaps you own a home or vacation home that your children have no interest in inheriting. You can create an irrevocable provision to retain the use of your home during your lifetime and give the remainder interest to United Way at your death. You receive a current income tax deduction for the remainder interest and remove the home from your taxable estate.

6.    Make a gift through a Charitable Gift Annuity and receive payments for life

If you would like to benefit from interest that is higher than you can obtain from CDs and money market accounts, a charitable gift annuity is an excellent gift option, especially if you are over 60 years old. You would receive annuity payments for life and the remainder of the gift would benefit our community through United Way. The projected amount of the gift that would go to United Way is tax deductible.

For a customized illustration on how a charitable gift annuity would benefit United Way and you, please visit and click on “Create Your Plan.”

Information and calculations are for illustration purposes only and should not be considered legal, accounting or other professional advice. Your actual benefits may vary depending on the nature and timing of the gift and your particular circumstances.

United Way of Hampshire County Tax ID 04-2104792

Matching Grant Offer

Curran & Keegan gives a matching grant of every signed letter of intent. Find out more here.

“The $230,000 bequest of the late Fred Ames was the catalyst that put the United Way on the road to financial stability.”

The Bequest the Changed Everything

Planned Giving Profile: Frederick Ames

The $230,000 bequest of the late Fred Ames was the catalyst that put the United Way on the road to financial stability.” — John Ebbets, CEO, United Way of Hampshire County (2007-2011)

While thousands of individual actions have helped with the success of United Way of Hampshire County over the years, there is one act that stands above the rest. It occurred with the passing of Frederick (Fred) O. Ames (1927-2005).

Fred was an engaged community supporter on many levels, and upon his passing Fred left a bequest of $230,000 to United Way of Hampshire County. This single act of philanthropy was the catalyst that put the United Way on the road to financial stability.

It eliminated our need to operate from a line of credit. It provided the financial foundation that allowed us to focus more on our greatest long-term success factors: our campaign and our donors. With directed oversight and stewardship—through our independent financial, investment, and audit committees—United Way of Hampshire County is now stronger and more capable, all because of one man’s gift. 

We will never forget Fred Ames and the wonderful legacy his generous gift helped to foster for the benefit of this community.