Fans in Florida of the former HBO television series The Sopranos know that crime boss Tony Soprano was played by actor James Gandolfini. During the run of the series, the Tony Soprano character was forced to whack rivals who posed a threat to the Soprano organization.
To be sure, the Tony Soprano character came up against some worthy foes, but his heirs could now be up against the IRS. James Gandolfini's generosity was known to be as endless as Tony's mob hits. When he died in Rome in June of a massive heart attack, Mr. Gandolfini left behind a nearly $70 million estate from which many could be benefiting. These beneficiaries include his child by his first marriage, his new wife and newborn baby, his sisters and many other friends and relatives he chose to bestow some of his worldly riches upon.
James Gandolfini was considered to be generous with those whom he cared about, but the IRS could be taking around $30 million in estate taxes. This could diminish his estate by around 42 percent.
High estate taxes could be avoided with better estate planning strategies. Creating documents that can protect your family, such as Florida trusts, living wills, health care directives and business succession planning can be essential and can also be customized to your specific personal financial situation. Whether you have $70 million or $70 thousand, some of these documents can seem quite complicated; however, they are not so to experienced legal professionals. A lawyer may be able to assist clients in drafting the proper documents to ensure their loved ones are taken care of.
Source: New York Post, "Tony Soprano vs. the Irs", July 16, 2013