Checks and balances with multiple executors and trustees. James Gandolfini had two children with two different wives. He named his sister, his current wife, and one of his attorneys as co-executors of his will and co-trustees of the testamentary trusts set up in his will, which was a savvy move to prevent any one beneficiary from being favored.
Have a foreign estate plan if you have foreign real property. Mr. Gandolfini owned property in Italy, which his will specified should be turned over to his children. However, Italy has forced heirship laws that may trump the will. He should have consulted with an Italian attorney and had an Italian will drawn that passes the property in accordance with Italian law.
The one thing that Gandolfini and his lawyers did not think about enough was his estate taxes. He’ll owe nearly $30,000,000 in estate taxes and much of it could have been avoided with good planning in advance.
If you would like to have a talk about estate planning for your family, call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk. We normally charge $750 for a Family Wealth Planning Session, and this month I’ve made space for the next two people who mention this article to have a complete planning session at no charge. Call today and mention this article.