Don’t Fear The Reaper – But If You’re Tony Soprano’s ESTATE LAWYER, At Least Get Ready…

Apparently, due to some bad financial planning of near biblical proportion, the estate of the recently deceased, and much revered Sopranos star James Gandolfini, will likely see at least $30 million out of $70 million go directly to Uncle Sam. This result – clearly not Gandolfini’s intent – stemmed from a decision to transfer approximately 80% of his wealth to his sisters and nine month old daughter directly upon his death rather than use a host of commonly employed estate planning strategies such as purchasing particular types of insurance or creating well-designed trusts that would likely have shielded a far greater percentage of the decedent’s assets.

Lesson: The real issue isn’t whether you “fear the Reaper,” but if you’ve had the good sense to prepare for his inevitable arrival. As Gandolfini’s tragically unexpected departure reminds us, it’s NEVER too early to prepare for the inevitable.

[“James Gandolfini will, a tax ‘disaster,’ says top estate lawyer,” The New York Daily News, 7/5/2013]

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