Tax Law

Gandolfini's will is a tax 'catastrophe,' estates lawyer says

The will of the late Sopranos star James Gandolfini is a “disaster,” a “catastrophe” and “a nightmare from a tax standpoint,” according to an estates lawyer who reviewed the document.

Lawyer William Zabel reviewed Gandolfini’s will for the New York Daily News. Gandolfini left 80 percent of his estimated $70 million estate to his sisters and 9-month-old daughter, making the 80 percent subject to a “death tax” of about 55 percent, Zabel said. That means more than $30 million would have to be paid to the government.

Gandolfini left 20 percent of his estate to his wife, Deborah Lin, but the 20 percent is calculated after the taxes are paid. That means Lin will get 20 percent of the $40 million that remains after taxes are paid, rather than 20 percent of $70 million.

Gandolfini also had a trust for his wife and at least one trust for his 13-year-old son. It’s unclear if future royalties will go into the estate or his wife’s trust, the story says.

Hat tip to TaxProf Blog

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