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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

The Future of the Minnesota Orchestra Is Up to the Music Lovers of Today


Laureate Society members Darlene and David Lee with their dog, Annie

Laureate Society members David and Darlene Lee are not only longtime subscribers of and donors to the Minnesota Orchestra—they are also long-distance commuters to Orchestra Hall. From their home in Wausau, Wis., the Lees travel about 8 hours round-trip to experience the music they love and more. Darlene explains, "It's a long drive, so we make the most of our time in the Twin Cities by taking in a variety of activities, but no question, it's the beautiful music of the Minnesota Orchestra that serves as the impetus of our trips."

Hearing the Orchestra is one of the many sweet rewards of retirement for the Lees. Darlene taught English and German and was an International Baccalaureate Coordinator, and David taught high school band and orchestra. The Lees became interested in classical music at a young age and never lost their love for the art form.

This appreciation ultimately led them to include the Orchestra in their estate plans. David observes, "Normally you'd think that two teachers wouldn't have a sizable estate. But we saved money and lived modestly. Over the last 35 years our estate has grown and 95 percent of it will go to charity."

The Lees have designated gifts using percentages for maximum flexibility. "If our estate increases or decreases, we are not tied to a fixed dollar amount," David says.

With a future gift in place, the Lees' legacy of shaping the lives of young people will continue. Darlene summarizes:"We love the universal appeal of classical music and enjoyed sharing it with our students. It's wonderful to think our estate gift will allow us to share the thrill of a live performance with the next generation of students."

For more information, call the Minnesota Orchestral Association at (612) 371-7138.

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Minnesota Orchestral Association a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

Bequest Language

"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to the Minnesota Orchestral Association [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Minnesota Orchestra or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Minnesota Orchestra as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Minnesota Orchestra as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Minnesota Orchestra where you agree to make a gift to Minnesota Orchestra and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.