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Another Celebrity Will Submitted to Probate

James Gandolfini. photo: Barry WetcherAnother celebrity’s last will and testament has been submitted to Probate Court and thus subject to public scrutiny.  This month, James Gandolfini’s Last Will and Testament was filed in the Manhattan Surrogate Court.  Gandolfini is best known for his role as Tony Soprano in the hit television series, The Sopranos.

Probate is a public court proceeding of proving the validity of the Last Will, paying creditors, and distributing the estate to the correct beneficiaries.  Because probate is public, anyone can view the majority of documents filed with the court – including the Last Will and Testament itself.  The Last Will, which was only filed earlier this week, is already accessible online.

As has been reported by various news media outlets, James Gandolfini left an estate worth approximately $70 million.  His beneficiaries include his widow, Deborah Lin, two children, Michael and Liliana Ruth, nieces, sisters, friends, and godchild.  Because his estate plan utilized a Last Will as opposed to a funded Trust, the world knows who he left money to and, in some cases, how much money they are to receive. This can be especially problematic due to unscrupulous individuals that use this information to try and attain funds from the beneficiaries.

As the probate proceeding progresses, it will become public record as to what assets he had at his death as well as what debts.  All of this dissemination of information would have been avoided had Mr. Gandolfini chosen to use a revocable living trust to dispose of his estate rather than a last will.

Do not take risks with your assets or your loved ones.  Create an MH estate plan to ensure your estate goes to whom you want, how you want and with the least possible expense and difficulty.  Call 888.222.1328 today for a free consultation.


MHAbout Morris Hall:
At Morris Hall, we have focused our legal practice on estate planning for over 40 years.  Along with estate planning, our attorneys help clients and their families with matters of probate, trust administration, wills, power of attorneys, business planning, succession planning, legacy planning, charitable gifting and other important legal aspects.  We also have divisions in financial, real estate and accounting to help you incorporate all of your planning together, ensuring that everything works perfectly for your needs and situation. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

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