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Sarah Ehlen Haecker

Sarah Ehlen HaeckerThough Sarah Ehlen Haecker didn't graduate from Breck, leaving the Class of 1984 after her sophomore year, she couldn't be more a part of the community. She's the mother of two current students, the sister of two alumni and the great granddaughter of someone who attended Breck School at the original campus in Wilder, Minnesota.

"Breck has given my family so much," she says. "And I imagine that, thanks to my great grandfather, Jacob Brogger, I have one of the longer legacies around!"

Growing up, Haecker says that Breck was always a huge part of her life. She came to the school as a fifth grader and attended along with brother Dave Ehlen '87 and sister Catherine Ehlen '90. The late Bishop Anderson was a close family friend, and her great grandfather studied English at Breck in Wilder after he emigrated from Norway.

Today, Breck is still a big part of family life for Haecker, whose own two children are happily enrolled. Daughter Lille, who started in second grade, is now a ninth grader who loves her classes, Nordic skiing and tennis. Son Hudson, who started in preschool, is a fifth grader involved with music and sports he's looking forward to playing for Breck in two years.

Both children were born in Philadelphia, where their mother was pursuing her postdoctoral studies at the University of Pennsylvania. After receiving a double Ph.D. in molecular biology and bioethics from the University of Minnesota, Haecker was settled into a comfortable life out east but was anxious for the opportunity to raise her children in Minnesota. "I realized that I wanted to come back to Minnesota before my kids got too old," she recalls. "And I knew that they would benefit from not only the education but also the environment at Breck."

Haecker says she's seen firsthand how Breck recognizes and supports each student's strengths, and she's appreciative of the dynamic Breck community. "I have traveled quite a bit for work, and I always loved knowing my kids were so well cared for."

Now doing business development in the biotech industry but traveling less, Haecker is enjoying the chance to watch her children thrive and grow. "They're developing outstanding study skills, rich and dynamic friendships, and a set of values that reflect the importance of social responsibility" she observes. "Through the creative instruction and thoughtful guidance of the faculty, Lille and Hudson are flourishing, responsible Breck citizens."

Haecker feels strongly about supporting Breck financially, both for her children and the ones who will follow in their footsteps, and so she has included the school in her estate planning.

"Breck has provided my family with such a wonderful whole-worldview approach to academics," she says. "I want to do whatever I can to make sure that's available for students in the future as well."

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Breck School 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

"I give [the sum, percentage, or description of property] to Breck School, Golden Valley, Minnesota, to be used ['where it is needed most', or 'for the endowment', or 'for the ____ program endowment', or 'according to my written instructions on file with Breck School']."

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 Breck School 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 Breck School 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 Breck School 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 Breck School where you agree to make a gift to Breck School 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

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