Our readers in Los Angeles and elsewhere may have been shocked to learn of actor James Gandolfini’s death on June while on vacation in Italy. Gandolfini, best known for starring in the TV Mafia series The Sopranos, was 51 and is survived by his wife and two children. Though his death was terribly sad, the contents of Gandolfini’s will are a great example of a carefully considered estate plan that reflected the decedant’s wishes and his changed family circumstances.
Gandolfini’s will was filed in court on July 2. It is believed that the actor’s estate is worth as much ast $70 million. Much of that will now go into a trust on behalf of his son, 13. He will get access to those funds when he turns 21. The trust will have the right of first refusal to purchase Gandolfini’s condo in New York. The son will also inherit some of his father’s personal property, including clothing and jewelry.
Gandolfini and his wife had an 8-month-old daughter and his will, which he signed on Dec. 19, includes the daughter as well. She and her half-brother are granted equal shares of Gandolfini’s estate in Italy, to go into her possession when she turns 25. The will includes a passage in which Gandolfini expresses his “hope and desire” that the siblings do not sell the property outside the family “for as long as possible.”
The remainder of the estate is to be split between his wife, daughter and sisters, leaving aside cash gifts to his nieces, secretary, personal assistant, godson and two friends.
Hopefully, this will can move through the probate process smoothly and according to the decedant’s wishes.
Source: New York Post, “James Gandolfini leaves bulk of $70M estate to his two children,” Julia Marsh, Jeane MacIntosh and Kate Sheehy, July 3, 2013