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Leave a Legacy MN - Share Your Story
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Share Your Story

Sharing your story can be a powerful way to show just how important it is to think beyond your lifespan when doing good works. Take a moment to read one of the planned giving stories below, or share your own story here.

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Gary and Ihleen Williams

Gary and Ihleen Williams of Aitkin, Minn. share their journey from owning and operating a successful downtown hardware store, to road tripping to Alaska, to caregiving for their parents--the experiences that led them to choose to leave a legacy for their hometown hospital, Riverwood Healthcare Center.

Click here to hear their story.





Starting a Fund to Provide a Legacy

minneapolis foundation"As a single woman with no descendants who has been blessed with the opportunity to explore many careers including owning my own business, I felt it would be wise to establish a testamentary designated beneficiary fund at the Minneapolis Foundation. Upon my death, the managers of the fund will ensure that my designate taxable investments provide income into perpetuity for local, national and international charities which I have named as beneficiaries. I decided to plan for the fund now rather than wait the decade or more until I retire.

Establishing the fund was a simple and efficient process. I met with a Minneapolis Foundation representative who explained my options and how the Foundation works. After the meeting, I developed a rationale, decided which charities to name an contacted my brokerage firm to request a change in name to my fund at the Minneapolis Foundation and the amount of total investments to be designated for the fund. I received a confirmation letter from the Foundation and also asked for a confirmation letter from the brokerage firm.

This plan gives me great comfort in that it allows me to use what I will need from my investments during my lifetime while guaranteeing that the remaining investments will provide a legacy from me to people in need."

- Anonymous (from the Minneapolis Foundation)

Francys E. Schull: A Community Builder Profile

detroit lakes high schoolThe idea of a scholarship fund first came to Bob Paulson more than 60 years ago, when he was graduating Detroit Lakes High School. Although he himself enjoyed all the advantages of living in a city, in his words, “Not a single rural kid from our school could afford to go to college.” 

Inspired by his mother’s commitment to the community, and education, Bob put himself through college and devoted his life to teaching in rural high schools. He and his wife, June, also spent time renovating houses and running a small antique shop.

After retiring, Bob and June began spending winters in Arizona, where they collected antiques to bring back to their shop and started a new business. At a time when Arizona banks refused to finance houses for out-of-towners, the Paulsons offered mortgage financing to snowbirds like themselves. Both these enterprises brought the Paulsons to a point of financial security where they began thinking about making their long-time dream of a scholarship fund a reality.

In 1994, they created the Robert and June Paulson Scholarship Fund, which will receive $1 million under Bob’s will. “I never thought to do the scholarship anywhere else but The Minneapolis Foundation,” he says. Even in Detroit Lakes, they had heard about the Foundation’s work. 

Recently, the Paulsons decided to advance their bequest and create the Robert and June Paulson Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust. The $1 million earmarked for the scholarship fund was transferred to the trust, for which the Foundation is trustee. Bob will receive a fixed annual income from the trust during his life. Upon his death, the trust will terminate and the assets will pass to the Robert and June Paulson Scholarship Fund. This future charitable gift not only provides the Paulsons with lifetime income, it also entitles them to an income tax charitable deduction in the year the trust is created. Bob and June have the best of both worlds: they continue to receive income from assets they had already benefit from a charitable deduction on their income tax return.

In Bob’s view, the annuity trust made “great financial sense given the Foundation’s longevity in the community and solid investment expertise.” As a result, years from now, rural young people from Detroit Lakes High School will have Bob’s longstanding dream to thank for their opportunity to go to college.

» Read more planned giving donor stories

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