Why all of the attention? Aside from the celebrity value, there is the sheer amount of taxation accidentally and disastrously wrought through various ill-conceived gifts. To put it in numbers, the estate tax bill is estimated to be at nearly $30 million, which is hard to believe since his entire estate is “only” $70 million.

Is that the full story? According to fleeting words from Gandolfini’s estate planner as reported in The New York Times article titled “A Public Debate Over the Wisdom of Gandolfini’s Will,” there may be more in play.

All the same, there are few estates that so vividly portray the values (and value) of estate planning, either in the form of taxes saved or in simple terms of privacy. A fact lost on no commentator is that the Gandolfini estate entered probate, baring the will and the whole process to the prying eyes and opinions of the world.

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
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