Steve Jobs had a lot of stock when he died last month-- $6.78 billion in Apple and Disney stock, to be exact.  Lots of stock means lots of capital gains.  Had Jobs sold the stock the day before his death, for example, he would have faced a tax bill over $850 million!

Capital gains are set to rise from 15% to 20% in 2013, along with a levy of 3.8% on unearned gains for the wealthy.  When Jobs' wife dies or money is given away from the Estate, the money is also subject to a 35% estate tax.  However, the stocks are in trusts, and a trust administrator can currently sell the stock which is only taxed on the appreciation since Jobs' death and not on his whole investment.  Since Jobs' death, the taxable appreciation was a meager $330 million!  So, the Jobs will likely sell the stock to avoid the growing gains and resulting enormous tax bill.  That is, if there is a market for that volume of stock.  

Perhaps Warren Buffett can snatch up some more of these stocks and beg the IRS to tax him and his fat cat friends a little more.  Regardless, the Jobs are wise to consider dumping the stocks for the substantial tax relief.

 
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