Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, June 20, 2014

Cook Family Avoids Estate Tax by Passing Wealth to Son

Bill cookCo-founders of medical-device maker Cook Group, Bill and Gayle Cook, passed ownership of their company to their son, Carl, in order to avoid estate taxes prior to Bill Cook’s death. 

The company had approximately $2 billion in revenue in 2012.  Products including needles and catheters are valued at $5.8 billion, making Carl Cook the 251st richest person in the world.  Carl became CEO of Cook Group upon his father’s death in 2011.  “It took us almost fifteen years to transfer the stock to Carl in an equitable way, so the taxes wouldn’t kill the company . . . That can happen.  You can kill your company by trying to get the stock transferred or sell it to your children, because of the estate taxes,” Bill Cook is quoted saying in his biography. 

See Caleb Melby, Cook Couple Passed $6 Billion Fortune to Son to Avoid Tax, Bloomberg News, June 18, 2014.    

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.


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