Not long after Apple co-founder and innovator Steve Jobs passed away, folks speculated how his fortune would pass. Admirably, and because he could, Jobs took a $1 salary in 2010 from Apple. However, his wealth is estimated to be $7 billion. Jobs held a large stake in the Walt Disney Co. In 2006, it was estimated that he received $242 million in dividends before taxes from his Disney stock. (Remember the part “because he could”) http://goo.gl/V7SuZ
Notably, land records in Silicon Valley reveal that Jobs and his wife transferred several real property parcels into trusts in 2009. http://goo.gl/2HG0I The virtue of revocable living trusts is that families are protected by privacy. Using a will to pass real property means that the assets must go through probate court. Properly funding a trust before death means the estate and assets remain out of the public eye. Also, jointly-owned property and assets with beneficiary designations (life insurance, 401K’s) pass outside of the probate process.
Proper planning and the strategic use of trusts is also vital for potentially difficult family dynamics. Jobs had a child out of wedlock with his high school sweetheart. A child is not automatically entitled to a share of a parent’s estate. So whether Jobs chose to provide for his children, and how much, will likely remain out of the public eye assuming he had the proper planning in place. Failing to state one’s intent with regard to planning will lead to inevitable family fighting.
While you might not be able to take a $1 salary, you can take action to ensure your planning wishes are carried out. Contact a qualified estate planning attorney at 775-688-3000.
October 17-23, 2011 has been designated by Congress as National Estate Planning Awareness Week. Some estimate that as many as 120 million Americans do not have up-to-date estate plans and long term financial strategies to protect themselves or their families in the event of sickness, accidents, or untimely death. The purpose of National Estate Planning Awareness Week is to encourage consumers to address these issues before they have a chance to negatively impact their daily lives. Estate planning can include many different areas such as: retirement planning, asset protection planning, beneficiary designations, tax planning, planning for children, taking precautions to address the risk of future disability, insurance planning, and more.
Locally, several charities are sponsoring a free workshop series titled, “It’s Your Estate.” The workshops are designed to educate the public in the consumer financial arena and help them take charge of their own money and estate. Jason C. Morris, Esq.will present on the Advanced Estate Planning topic the week of October 11th – 13th. Mr. Morris will present at S. Valleys Library, 15650 Wedge Parkway, on October 11 at 2 p.m. On October 12th, Mr. Morris will present at the North Valley Library, 1075 N. Hills Blvd #340 at 2 p.m. Thursday, October 13th, Mr. Morris will present at the Sparks Library, 1125 12th Street, at 11:00 a.m. and offer another presentation at the Northwest Reno Library, 2325 Robb Drive, at 2:30 p.m.
For reservations or questions, call the Community Foundation of Western Nevada at 775.333.5499.
Don L. Ross, Esq. has been named in the 2012 edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the “Trusts and Estates” practice area. Inclusion in Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. For 28 years, the top lawyers in the U.S. have helped make The Best Lawyers In America the leading legal referral guide by candidly evaluating the work of other top lawyers in the same practice areas and geographic areas.
Mr. Ross represents clients in estate planning, federal gift and estate taxation, and tax litigation. Mr. Ross obtained his LL.M in Taxation from the University of Florida in 1994. He graduated cum laude from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University and completed his Master of Business Administration at the University of Utah.