All too often, people in Stockton read stories of stars dying with no will. Their properties and estates end up going to family members that they would rather not have left anything to and, sometimes, to family members with whom they have not spoken in years. Though many stars do die without a will, the recent death of James Gandolfini reminds us that not every actor and actress does.
Gandolfini is probably best remembered by the people of west Texas as the actor to play Tony Soprano, a complex mobster in the HBO show “The Sopranos.” Yet, outside of the show he was anything but violent and cruel, and his will is a testament to his caring nature.
While it is not surprising that a majority of his estate goes to his 13-year-old son and infant daughter, what is shocking is how many generous gifts he left to the other people in his life. For example, he gave two of his friends $50,000 each, asking one of his friends to use the money for his son. The actor also gave his godson $100,000. His secretary and personal assistant were also to receive $200,000 each.
Had Gandolfini not made a will that specifically divided his approximately $70 million estate, none of those people would have received anything under normal intestacy laws. And, since he had children and was married at the time of his death, not even his sisters or his nieces would have received the generous sums that Gandolfini left them. Fortunately, however, the star knew that if he wanted his property to be distributed the way he wanted it, he would not be able to die without a will.
Source:New York Post, “James Gandolfini leaves bulk of $70M estate to his two children,” Julia Marsh, Jeane Macintosh and Kate Sheehy, July 3, 2013