Holidays, Estate Planning & Steve Jobs' Trust

I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving holiday whether it was with family, friends or some R&R alone. I spent mine with my family and mom, here in the Desert, amazed at the gorgeous weather we had that day. You can see the picture of my daughter and me on a boat ride we took at the Desert Marriot during the Thanksgiving break. I love Thanksgiving as we really tend to focus on what’s the most important to us - simple joys of being around your loved ones and remembering all those things we are grateful for.  

As I had a bit more time Thanksgiving morning, I briefly looked over news sites and found quite a few articles mentioning Steve Jobs. His legacy and impact is certainly felt in a way we do things every day. I am able to write this, listen to music, watch movies and let my daughter play piano on a device he created. But the article that caught my eye was not about Steve Jobs & Apple –it was about Steve Jobs’ $4.6B in Disney shares. It was announced in this brief article $4.6 billion worth of shares in The Walt Disney Co. are now in a trust run by his wife, Laurene Powell Jobs

Back in October 2011, Forbes Magazine stated Steve Jobs has most likely protected his estate with a living trust, but the extent of all of his planning is most likely to stay private as living trusts provide privacy protection (another strong advantage of the trust).

Use of a living trust to carry stock or financial accounts might have made news in Steve Jobs case, given the celebrity status and the sizeable amount but it is frequently used as an estate planning tool. You certainly don’t need to own millions in stock accounts to use this tool to protect you from probate court. 

Over the last few years, I have seen that this time of the year people start to think about creating a trust or restating the one they currently have to better reflect their situation. If you own stocks at this time, or a sizeable amount in financial accounts, you might want to consider putting them in the name of the trust. Check with your financial advisor as to how your account is titled and then, if appropriate, ask for recommendations on how to go about creating a trust. You can read about the advantages of creating a living trust here.

Have a great week everyone!



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