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Steve Jobs placed real estate into trusts, likely to avoid publicity

With Steve Jobs' success as an entrepreneur, many would no doubt have been interested to know what his estate might look like. But it seems that he wished to avoid the publicity.

Our readers might be interested to learn that the recently deceased Steve Jobs and his wife put at least three different properties into trusts back in 2009, leading legal experts to say that the Apple co-founder may have been seeing to it that his assets were kept secret at his death. According to sources, the transfers of ownership took place while Steve Jobs was on medical leave.

According to public records in California, Jobs and his wife co-owned a home in Palo Alto, as well as two properties in Woodside. Around two months into his medical leave, Jobs and his wife transferred ownership of those properties into two separate trusts.

Two of the benefits of placing assets into trusts are that it can minimize estate taxes and it can keep those assets from being publicly disclosed in probate court. People also sometimes place assets in trusts to shield them from creditors, though that is not likely to have been the motivation behind Jobs' property transfers.

As of September 2011, Forbes magazine said that Jobs' wealth was around $7 billion. That wealth largely came from Apple stock holding and his sale of Pixar to Disney in 2006, for which he received around 138 million Disney shares.

It apparently isn't certain whether Jobs also place his non-real estate assets into trusts similar to those used for his real estate.

Source: Reuters, "RPT-Steve Jobs put real estate in trust in 2009-records," Dan Levine, Oct 7, 2011.

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