Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Jobs and taxes

Steve Jobs, that is.  Much speculation already about his estate plan.

This item from the NYPost is, well, just stupid.  Essentially, it says basis step-up will apply to all of Jobs' estate assets, so capital gains taxes will be avoided by an early asset sale.  That supposedly justifies the promise of their headline, but they are silent on the more important question of death taxes.

Yahoo points out an intriguing factoid.  Before Steve went for the liver transplant, he and his wife created two trusts and transferred all their real estate to them, according to California land records.  Those trusts could be the receptacles for the rest of his wealth. If he already transferred the assets, he may have achieved true financial privacy.

Finally, surprisingly, the Trust Advisor Blog also overpromises with its headline that the Jobs estate plan will be tax free.  They don't have any access to the will or trust documents, so this is just speculation. However, they add the interesting twist that:
Completely under the radar, SEC filings reveal that Jobs was also busy moving the rest of his material wealth — 5.5 million shares of Apple stock and 138 million Disney shares, a memento of his other baby, the animation company Pixar — out of his estate and into a trust.
 That could be one or both of the trusts holding the real estate.  If the trusts qualified for the marital deduction, or perhaps the charitable deduction, then yes, there may not be much in the way of federal estate tax.  The commenters to the article point out the lack of info for making such a supposition.


JLM said...

Unfortunately, the first post on Steve Jobs' estate that I saw was at Forbes: Steve Jobs Dies in Year with 35% Estate Tax. Seems I wasn't the only reader put off by the notion that a really brilliant billionaire would have died a year sooner. (Yes, estates of well-known people can help you draw draw attention to  the topic of estate planning, but have a care how you do it.)

We may never know too much about Jobs' estate arrangements. Here's to the privacy of living trusts!

tempe property management said...

Definitely, he might have had lot more arrangements within his mind (that of a genius). Even then he's given enough to the world.

London Property said...

I agree. He was a genius