Bada-bing: Death tax to take obscene amount of Gandolfini’s estate

Tony Soprano
James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano
Photo Credit: Mama Mia

As if James Gandolfini’s sudden death wasn’t enough of a shock for his poor family, the Internal Revenue Service has come calling for its share – its obscenely large share – of his estate.

Sopranos” superstar Gandolfini’s estimated worth was said to be around $70 million, of which over $30 million may go to Uncle Sam in taxes.

Estate attorney William Zabel told the Daily News that Gandolfini’s will is “a nightmare from a tax standpoint.”

Most of Gandolfini’s estate went to his wife, two children and two sisters.

However, the article noted:

The 51-year-old’s “big mistake” was leaving 80% of his estate to his sisters and his 9-month-old daughter, Zabel said.

That made 80% of the estate subject to “death taxes” of about 55%, and the bill is due in nine months, Zabel said.


Obviously, not too many people have millions on hand to pay the government, so the family will soon have to start liquidating assets, the News reported.

The article continued:

The 20 percent of the estate that Gandolfini left to wife Deborah Lin isn’t directly subject to the death tax, but even she’ll take a big hit, Zabel said.

The will calls for the shares to be divvied up after all the taxes are paid, which means Lin will get 20% of the $40 million left after taxes, instead of 20% of $70 million.

Young son, 13-year-old, Michael’s portion was left in trust, which may be safe from the death tax for now.

An added tax nightmare will be the future royalties from Gandolini’s work. The “Sopranos” still airs on HBO, and I, for one, still watch.

“It’s unclear at this point if royalties from Gandolfini’s film career and his work on “The Sopranos” will go directly into the estate or to his wife through a separate trust,” the article said.

Read more from the Daily News.


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