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James Gandolfini's estate plan leaves takes care of children

Former "Sopranos" star James Gandolfini passed away suddenly while on vacation in Italy before the Fourth of July holiday. Millions of fans mourned his passing and were surprised by how the life of someone who was relatively healthy was cut short. 

According to the New York Post, the actor best known as Tony Soprano has left a considerable portion of his estate to his children. 13-year-old son Michael and 8-month-old daughter Liliana Ruth. His wife Deborah will also receive a large portion of his estate.

The story is important considering that many people do not have updated wills or estate plans that detail how they want their property distributed when they pass on. It can be a morbid topic and create awkward moments and expectations. However, a will can be an important tool to ease friction among family members.

Gandolfini's 17 page will also created a trust that will hold much of the property that will be passed to his son when he turns 21.

He was also very generous in leaving money to his personal secretary Trixie Flynn Bourne and personal assistant Thomas Richardson. Both will inherit $200,000. His nieces, Laura and Jenna Antonacci, are set to receive $500,000. The will also assigns percentages of Gandolfini's estate between his sisters.

It is estimated that the acclaimed actor was worth $70 million, but it will take a number of months to parcel through all the documents relating to the will to confirm this amount. 

If you have questions about creating a will and leaving properties to heirs and beneficiaries, an experienced estate planning lawyer can help.

Source: NY, James Gandolfini leaves bulk of $70 million estate to his two children, July 3, 2013

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