This month we take the pleasure in introducing two Minnesota Orchestra Laureate Society members, Truman and Leila Jeffers, who have attended Orchestra concerts for 50 years. We thank them and their fellow supporters, who make excellence possible through their generosity.
A LOVE FOR MUSIC
Truman “Jeff” and Leila Jeffers were students at Macalester College in St. Paul when they first became acquainted with the Minnesota Orchestra (then called the Minneapolis Symphony). “We were members of the concert choir,” Leila recalls, “and we sang with the Minneapolis Symphony under the direction of Antal Dorati. When we began going to concerts as audience members, we attended at Northrop Auditorium. We followed the Orchestra from Northrop to Orchestra Hall, and from St. Catherine’s to the Ordway.”
Today, the Jeffers still sing (as members of the senior choir at Christ the King Lutheran Church in New Brighton) and still attend concerts. They have raised three daughters and enjoyed their careers – Jeff in the business and banking world for 40 years and as CEO of the Minnesota Bankers Association for 25 years, and Leila as a teacher, and then a homemaker and mother. When Jeff and Leila sat down to do some retirement and estate planning, they focused on the people and organizations that have given them the great joy for many years.
Jeff explains, “We have arranged to provide financially for our wonderful daughters and their families, and we want to make ongoing contributions to our church, college and other charitable interests important to us. One prominent interest is the Minnesota Orchestra. Working with The Saint Paul Foundation, we have structured a family fund that will receive the balance of our retirement accounts after we’re gone. The fund will then continue to support the Orchestra and other organizations indefinitely with annual contributions, with our daughters serving as advisors to the fund.”
“We chose the family fund idea,” he continues, “and it works. The remainder of our assets over what we give to our children will become part of the family fund and will then go to our heirs, the foundation, and other organizations without any tax consequences. We just think it makes eminent good sense. We have spent some time working on this. If you have charitable intent and you want to leave funds to charitable causes that you care about, you begin asking yourself, how to we do that?
“One thing becomes clear: If you don’t have a will, you clearly create problems for yourself that you don’t need. So you create a will. Then you begin to investigate the possibility of trusts to go along with the will. We both have revocable trusts. Our next step was to create the family fund. If the residual of our invested funds did not go to charity, they would presumably run over to our children and be subject to inheritance and income taxes.
The Jeffers feel good knowing that they have taken care of their daughters, as well as the organizations that have played a significant part in their life together. Today, Jeff and Leila, who recently celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary, enjoy church activities, volunteering, travel, golf, and spending time with children and grandchildren. And, of course, they manage to find time to attend Minnesota Orchestra Concerts.
“We have a strong interest in utilizing the assets we have accumulated for the benefit of important organizations in our community, and through them, benefiting the people and community of which we have been a part.” – Truman and Leila Jeffers, Minnesota Orchestra Laureates
Director of Planned and Major Gifts
The Minnesota Orchestra