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The Zeidner Family

Helping Keep the Breck Community Strong

Nicki and Lew ZeidnerFor Lew and Nicki Zeidner, Breck is almost part of the family. "Our daughter Amanda is an only child," they say, "and at Breck she gets both older and younger siblings. For us, the school has become a focus for volunteering, an important focus for philanthropy and a big part of our social life!"

The Zeidners moved to Minnesota when Amanda was about a year old and never really expected to look at independent schools. Both had come from public school backgrounds, and the quality of public education in the state was a big attraction. But there was significant redistricting in their area and at a neighbor's suggestion they decided to attend an admissions event at Breck.

"We were immediately drawn to Breck's mission and the quality and commitment of the faculty," they recall. But what really won them over was a presentation by an eighth grader. "It was such an impressive talk — so poised and full of enthusiasm. That's what really sold us!"

Now that their own daughter has helped out with an admission event herself, the Zeidners say they know they made the right decision.

Both Lew and Nicki have volunteered with the Annual Fund, the Parents Association, in the classroom and with Nicki's membership on the Board of Trustees. "Giving our time is an important component of feeling like a part of the community," they say.

They feel good about supporting Breck financially as well. They explain, "Our giving is really prioritized for maximum impact. There are so many worthy causes, but you can't support them all. At Breck we know that our philanthropy helps to support the school's efforts to keep tuition manageable and the quality high. Our support helps sustain that vision and ability to maintain Breck's mission."

It's also a good example for their daughter. "We've been intentional about teaching her the value of supporting causes we believe in with our time and our dollars," they say. "She's really grown up understanding that from day one."

Away from school, the family is involved with church activities and enjoys camping, travel and dining out. But Breck plays a big role in all of their lives, and it's an institution they want to help keep strong for future generations as well.

"It's so important for us to do what we can to make sure Breck can maintain its excellent faculty and staff and its wonderful facility. Most important, we want to be sure it isn't a school that only people with significant means can afford," they say. "We're happy to help leave a legacy for the future."

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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eBrochure Request Form

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