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How Anthony Bourdain's trust kept his true wealth confidential

Not long after the death of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, it was revealed that his estate held a seemingly low value of approximately $1.2 million. However, the seemingly low value of Bourdain's estate is not likely the true amount of the late chef's estate because the TV star also had a confidential trust, the details of which will remain unknown.

According to court documents, Bourdain left the majority of his publicly-known assets that don't fall inside the trust to be inherited by his 11-year-old daughter. The breakdown of the chef's public estate included the following:

  • $425,000 in cash and savings
  • $35,000 in investment accounts
  • $250,00 in property
  • $500,000 in intangible property that includes residuals and royalties

Estate documents indicated that Bourdain's estranged wife would be the executor the estate and inherit his household and personal effects, in addition to his frequent flier miles and vehicles. It also indicated that she was to use them "in accordance with what (she) believes to have been my wishes."

Many would initially be surprised that a renowned chef like Bourdain, who spent more than a decade as host of an internationally-popular TV show and owned a publishing imprint, would have an estate that barely exceeded $1 million. However, this sum is probably only the tip of the iceberg. The chef's confidential trust probably holds a large amount of assets and funds that far exceed the value of his public estate.

If you would like to benefit from the confidentiality of a trust, you might want to consider incorporating this useful estate planning tool into your legal plans for the future benefit of your loved ones.

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