Wealth Blog

Finance Blogs » Wealth » Gandolfini smacked with IRS bill

Gandolfini smacked with IRS bill

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Monday, July 15, 2013
Posted: 6 am ET

Actor James Gandolfini's estate, worth an estimated $70 million, may end up paying the Internal Revenue Service a whopping $30 million -- a tax bill that could have been avoided with estate planning.

Estate planning attorney William Zabel told the New York Daily News that the actor, who portrayed mafia leader Tony Soprano on the HBO series "The Sopranos," left approximately 80 percent of his estate unprotected from taxes.

Gandolfini's will is not uncommon in its intent: The bulk of his wealth goes to family and a few friends. He left approximately 20 percent of his estate to his wife, Deborah Lin. Had he opted to bequeath everything to her, he could have taken advantage of the unlimited marital deduction and owed nothing in estate taxes upon his death.

However, since his wife was not the mother of his older son, a marital trust could have been drafted to take advantage of the marital deduction while also leaving the bulk of the trust to his children.

Aside from his wife, Gandolfini also left a large percentage of his estate to his daughter and to each of his two sisters. His son received the proceeds of a life insurance policy, which will not be subject to estate tax. His will also distributes $1.6 million to various friends and other relatives.

While it's not pleasant to contemplate death, having an estate plan that accomplishes your wishes while saving taxes is simply smart planning and preserves more of your wealth for your intended beneficiaries.

Keep up with your wealth and mortgages and follow me on Twitter.

Get more news, money-saving tips and expert advice by signing up for a free Bankrate newsletter.

«
»
Bankrate wants to hear from you and encourages comments. We ask that you stay on topic, respect other people's opinions, and avoid profanity, offensive statements, and illegal content. Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to (but are not obligated to) edit or delete your comments. Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

By submitting a post, you agree to be bound by Bankrate's terms of use. Please refer to Bankrate's privacy policy for more information regarding Bankrate's privacy practices.
2 Comments
amanda
July 15, 2013 at 6:15 pm

What a f'in joke. Our government doesn't deserve a dime of someone's estate. They have already stolen 40-50% of it at the time it was earned.

Our federal government is a snake with 1000 heads that must be cut off individually.

Flat Tax - 20%, if you can't run on that you will need to close branches. Period. Suck it Fed.