When Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died on October 5, 2011, he had over $7 billion in assets. While Jobs was a very private man and did not share details of his life with the media, estate planning experts hypothesize that, despite his wealth, his heirs will probably not end up owing any estate tax. Jobs most likely took advantage of several estate planning techniques available to help avoid estate taxes.
Benefits of Trusts
One of the ways to avoid estate taxes is to reduce the assets that have to go through probate. An effective method to accomplish this is to place assets in a trust. Four quick examples, among others, are a bypass trust, a grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT), a charitable remainder trust (CRT), and an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT).
These trusts protect assets from taxes, creditors, ex-spouses, the required spend-down for long-term care, and immaturity or other issues of beneficiaries.
Trusts are private, and the public may never know exactly how Jobs bequeathed his assets, but experts know that he put at least three pieces of real estate into a trust in 2009 and suggest he probably utilized additional trusts and other estate planning tools in a manner to avoid estate taxes completely. Everyone should consider similar strategies to benefit their own estates.
At Morris Hall, we have focused our legal practice on estate planning for over 40 years. Along with estate planning, our attorneys help clients and their families with matters of probate, trust administration, wills, powers of attorney, business planning, succession planning, legacy planning, charitable gifting and other important legal aspects. We also have divisions in financial, real estate and accounting to help you incorporate all of your planning together, insuring that everything works perfectly for your needs and situation. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead. Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
Source: Forbes, Steve Jobs' Estate Not Likely to Owe Tax, Deborah L. Jacobs, 11 October 2011