07/10/2013

When Your “bada-bing” goes “bada-boom” – Estate Planning Lessons from Actor James Gandolfini

When actor James Gandolfini died suddenly of a massive heart attack in Italy in June 2013, it was quite a shock.  The actor who will be remembered as his role as Tony Soprano in the hit series “The Sopranos.”  http://www.hbo.com/the-sopranos/index.html#  James Gandolfini died at the untimely age of 51.  I can only think that we have lost an incredible actor and there are estate planning lessons that can be gleaned from such a tragedy.

Mr. Gandolfini’s real life certainly was much more tame then his television mob boss character.  Another lesson to note is that there is no magic number as to when make an estate plan.  In reality, everyone over the age of 18 years or older should have an estate plan, especially is there are children, a spouse or real estate involved.  Mr. Gandolfini unfortunately left behind his wife, an 8 month old daughter, and a son from a previous marriage. 

Fortunately, James Gandolfini had estate planning documents which designated the individuals that he wanted to receive his estate.  He left the majority of his estate to his son which will be placed in trust until he turns 25 years old.  He also made provisions for his daughter, his wife, and other family members.  http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/03/showbiz/gandolfini-will/index.html

The lesson is that life is unpredictable so it is imperative to make an appointment with an estate planning attorney today to protect you and your family.  Don’t regret saying “shoulda, coulda, woulda…”