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Computer Associates inheritance creates new billionaires

The smooth transfer of assets is the goal of any estate plan, whether the assets are to go to the estate holder's children or to a collection of preferred charities. For Orlando residents, no matter the size of the estate, some planning is needed to ensure that the desires of the asset holders are met. The larger the desired asset transition, the more planning must go into making sure that the transfer proceeds as planned. If done well, even billions of dollars in assets can be inherited without spending years in court or seeing the value of the assets drop significantly.

One recent asset transfer occurred when the oldest billionaire in the world passed away. The 101-year-old man passed on his stake in Computer Associates, along with several other assets, to his two children.

His 59-year-old son and 56-year-old daughter each received 50 percent of Careal Holding AG, a Swiss holding company that possesses the Computer Associates shares. Along with the shares in the computer company, the holding company also holds ownership in AMAG, a seller of automobiles, and holds interests in several real estate properties.

The total of the inheritance received by the two siblings brings their net worth to nearly $2 billion each. The heirs hold positions on the Careal board, with the daughter serving as director of the board and the son as its chairperson and president. The company was built during the post-war era, and the Computer Associates shares were the result of the sale of a data processing business in 1968 to University Computing, which was then sold to Computer Associates.

Wills and trusts are common tools used by Orlando residents to map out the transfer of assets both before and after death. The proper use of a will or trust could save heirs a significant amount of money when the transfer occurs. Such estate planning instruments can also protect the assets before the transfer, so asset holders should look into their legal options before choosing a transition method.

Source: Forbes, "Computer Associates Heirs Join Billionaire Ranks," Tatiana Serafin, Jan. 16, 2013

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