Skip to main content

Legacy Giving

More than forty years ago, the Montshire was brimming with potential but its track record was unproven. Today, the Montshire is a highly respected institution both locally and nationally.

Our exhibits and programs are recognized widely for innovation and efficacy, and the Museum’s finances are on solid ground. A number of families have chosen to invest in Montshire’s future with a legacy gift. These gifts, often in support of Montshire’s endowment, help ensure the Museum’s ability to provide meaningful exhibits and programs for the generations to come.

Your Legacy Gift Can Provide:
  • Support for innovation: Legacy and planned gifts allow Montshire to pursue innovative opportunities and ideas such as new educational initiatives, partnerships, and exhibit development.
  • Stability: Gifts to Montshire’s endowment increase the annual revenue generated by these funds, allowing the Museum to weather variations in earned revenues. A simple way to continue your support is to “endow” your annual gift with a bequest that is 20 times the value of your yearly contribution.
  • Recognition: Major gifts to endow a leadership position or program can provide a donor with prominent named opportunities.

Options for Legacy Giving to the Montshire

  • Life Insurance Policies
  • Life Income Gifts
  • Charitable Gift Annuities
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRT)
  • Charitable Lead Trusts


Donors of all ages and means can include a gift to the Montshire in their wills. Bequests of all sizes help ensure the Museum’s future.

Bequests can be included in the body of your will, or in a simple, inexpensive codicil added to your existing will. Bequests can be written to leave a specific amount to the Montshire, a percentage of your estate, or the residue of your estate after all other commitments have been satisfied.

Following is sample language that may be used in a will:
“I hereby give, devise and bequeath to the Montshire Museum of Science Inc., a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of New Hampshire, with its principal place of business in Norwich, Vermont (1) the sum of $_______ (or property, securities, etc.) or (2)_______% of the residuary of my estate to be used for the benefit of the Montshire Museum of Science Inc., for its general use and purposes as the Board of Trustees may direct.”
If your estate will be subject to estate tax, a significant bequest can reduce the taxable portion or bring the value below the taxable threshold.

Other Ways to Give

The Montshire is pleased to accept immediate gifts of cash and stock. Both options offer an income tax deduction. With a contribution of appreciated securities, you also can avoid paying capital gains taxes that would have applied had you sold the shares yourself.

Perhaps the simplest way to make a legacy gift is to add the Montshire Museum as a beneficiary of your retirement plan or IRA. All you need is a “beneficiary change form” from your plan administrator. Many plans will allow you to add a new beneficiary online.

If you are age 70 1/2 or older, you can make a direct transfer from your traditional or Roth IRA to the Montshire Museum and other charitable organizations without being subject to federal income tax. These withdrawls count toward your minimum distribution requirements for the year of the gift. Contact your IRA administrator to arrange a direct transfer.

The Montshire may accept gifts of tangible personal property when the items are useful to the Museum or may be sold readily. Under the right circumstances, the Montshire will also accept real estate, including a remainder interest that reserves the right of occupancy for you and your spouse for life.

Montshire Legacy Circle

The Montshire Legacy Circle was established in 2004 as a way to recognize donors who indicate that they have included the Montshire in their estate plans. Although no documentation is required, the Museum appreciates the opportunity to recognize individuals who have considered the Montshire in their plans. Donors may remain anonymous.

Occasional events and activities are planned for members of the Montshire Legacy Circle.

Contact Information

For questions or a confidential conversation about your estate plans, please contact Jennifer Rickards, Deputy Director, by calling 802-649-2200, x225, or via e-mail at

This outline is prepared as a guide to planning and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation. We encourage you to consult your own legal, accounting, estate, or other professional advisors as you consider options for giving to the Montshire Museum of Science.