A recent article by Thomson Reuters details how the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs has done a good job of moving assets into trusts in order to keep them private from the public.
Jobs, who has a reputation for being secretive of his company's products as well as his personal life, knew the advantages of will and estate planning when it comes to privacy and distribution of assets.
There have been many examples of celebrities who have squandered millions they have earned during their careers because of poor planning and bad decisions. What isn't reported in the media are the millions of everyday, middle-class Americans who do the same. Those from more modest means can still reap all the advantages by consulting with a New York estate planning lawyer. Even if you don't have millions to leave behind, you should make sure your children, spouses and other survivors can deal with the stress of handling your estate issues without undue complications.
Jobs, the man who is credited with inventing or reinventing the personal computer, mobile phone, music business and tablet devices, died recently at age 56 of pancreatic cancer. Battling the illness for some years, he stepped down as Apple CEO in August.
Two years ago, he and his wife established trusts and put real estate investments in them. Trusts can minimize the amount of taxes survivors must pay and can keep the assets from being disclosed to the public in probate court.
On top of his shares of Apple, he had a fortune after selling Pixar to Disney, receiving $138 million in Disney shares in 2006. In September, Forbes estimated Jobs' worth at $7 billion.
Public records show that Jobs and his wife own property in Palo Alto and two pieces of property in Woodside. In March 2009, those properties were put into two different trusts.
If a trust is used, even a publicly recorded will could have very little information. It could say that the assets in a trust are left to a trustee. And they would be handed out according to the trust provisions, which are typically private.
Whether you have millions of dollars or not, every person can benefit from from estate planning.