updated 11:00 pm EST, Wed November 23, 2011
May be used for philanthropic work
Before the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, he had begun moving his assets into trusts in order to avoid undue tax liabilities. According to securities filings reported by Yahoo Finance, Jobs' 138 million shares of the The Walt Disney Company -- a majority of his fortune, worth about $4.6 billion -- will go into a trust managed by his wife, Laurene Powell Jobs. What will happen to the rest of holdings, such as his $2 billion in Apple stock, remains unclear.
Jobs' total worth is estimated to be around $7 billion, in part due to stock grants given to him by Apple along with money he received when selling NeXT to Apple and Pixar to Disney. Tax experts have recently suggested that the family sell off Jobs' Apple and Disney stock in order to avoid a five-percent rise in capital gains taxes (which will move from 15 percent to 20 percent in 2013) and duck a 3.8 percent levy on unearned gains. The same experts recommended the family diversify their portfolio in order to minimize risk.
Putting the Disney shares into a managed trust may mitigate the family's exposure on gains, but it depends on the type of trust. Powell has been associated with several charities, and currently sits on the board of the Teach for America program, one of the few organizations in recent years that Apple has directly worked with to donate iPads to teachers in rural and underfunded districts.
The trust will now become Disney's largest shareholder, with 7.7 percent stake in the company. Jobs originally got the shares when Disney bought Pixar for $7.4 billion in 2006. [via AppleInsider]